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Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Lawrence Hall air-conditioning among student concerns acknowledged by Physical Plant

Inside Lawrence Hall where a single air unit is in use. The hall could have central air next semester.
Photo by Gavin Petrone
Inside Lawrence Hall where a single air unit is in use. The hall could have central air next semester.

Implementing air-conditioning into Lawrence Hall has been a recent subject of conversation at Physical Plant, according to Vice President of Operations Chris Hill.


“We’ve said it–to be completely honest it is definitely something the university is investigating more than they have in the past,” Hill said.


There are a variety of theoretical strategies to air-conditioning Lawrence Hall, ranging from repiping the entire building to upgrading electric panels allowing for window-unit air conditioners.


Dylan Mays, a sophomore cinema production major, said the heat is “unbearable” in the beginning of the year.


“Since I live on the 18th floor,” Mays said. “I’ve had to use multiple fans just to go to bed. I think they need air-conditioning for at least the first couple months of the first semester and the last couple [months] of the second.”


Mays said the laundry room was another point of concern for him. Almost every time he goes to do laundry, 9 out of 10 machines are out of order. 


Currently only three out of 10 washers are operable in Lawrence Hall’s laundry room. (Photo by Gavin Petrone)


There have been two separate instances of flooding in the laundry room this year and right now three machines are operational.


“I will say that two of the floods we know of were because of user error,” Hill said. 


Hill said this user error is often seen in students forcing open the doors of the front-loading washing machines after they have locked and started their cycle.


“There’s at least three [in service] every time I go down there,” Mays said.


Administrative Assistant Denise Kunz went over the internal process of filing work orders for broken washing machines. Students can either call or send an email to let the Physical Plant know that there is a washer issue.


“I then send out an email to the company who services the machines, I alert them to what floor and what the issue is based on,” Kunz said. “Then, I send it to CSE, the company we’re contracted with to do the repairs.”


Physical Plant said they encourage students to scan the QR code on any broken washing machine or dryer with their phone to report any issue as soon as possible.


Some students said that they also have concerns with broken dorm security doors.


Mia Marsala, a freshman acting major, discussed the broken ID scanner on Lawrence Floor 11 preventing the door from being opened.


“There is currently a fire extinguisher holding our door open but sometimes people move it and others get locked out of the floor,” Marsala said. “I’m not sure why it’s not fixed yet but it’s getting kinda ridiculous.”


In response, Hill said the matter was a concern for Public Safety. 


“We go up to make sure it’s not a loose wire and that it is receiving power so that we know it’s the unit itself,” Hill said. “Then we alert Public Safety who contact ESG, the company that makes the scanners.”


A student posts a picture of the Lawrence Hall laundry room flooding on a university Snapchat community channel. (Photo by Gavin Petrone)


Marsala had submitted a work order for the issue prior to her complaint.


Director of Operations Matthew Abbott said there are 12 workers responsible for all maintenance concerns on campus. 


“We always have at least one engineer on call, responsible for heating and cooling concerns as well as basic plumbing issues,” said Abbott.


Physical Plant also employs a plumber, painter, electricians, carpenters and a jack-of-all-trades position that helps if something needs to be done quickly.


The Physical Plant website differentiates work orders into separate classifications: routine, urgent, and emergency. Typically they are completed within four days to one hour, respectively.


Kunz said, “The average time [for a completed work order] is a day and a half.”


Physical Plant said it encourages students to file work orders for anything broken on campus and provide ideas for what they can do to improve campus living in the future.

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