What’s the deal with… the blasting heat in dorms

With the changing of the seasons, so too comes the change from air conditioning to heating in residence halls. Although the weather may fluctuate, prompting students to want their air conditioning back, administrators say the intricate changeover isn’t quite so simple.

GW Facilities Management studies the 10-day coming weather predictions in October for the transition to heating and then plans for a three- to four-day period in which the switch will be made, said Nancy Haaga, director of Campus Support Services, in an e-mail.

“Aside from the month of planning, scheduling and staging that is required to make the changeover happen, GW has 46 residence buildings that contain or are supported by a host of varied operating systems and requirements,” Haaga said.

The office also contacts the Residence Hall Association, GW Housing Programs and the Office of the Dean of Students about when to make the switch-over, Haaga said. Residential Property Management receives individual student concerns and then Facilities Management or Ambling Management handle individual room issues.

“With approximately 7,000 on-campus residents affected, meeting everyone’s expectations relative to heating and cooling is a tough task,” Haaga said.

Last week in Ivory Tower, the Residential Advisory Council posted signage, which has since been removed, telling residents that D.C. law required the switch. Haaga said this information was not accurate and the signs were taken down.

“While there is a D.C. code requirement for landlords to provide heat (under D.C. Landlord/Tenant Regulations),” Haaaga said. “It is intended for privately owned apartment buildings (and) landlords and does not apply to GW’s residence halls.” n

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