Opinions & Editorials

Is a Little Warmth Too Much to Ask? Facilities at City College in Disarray.

By Melissa McPeters



It is no secret to many that City College facilities are in disarray. In fact, it appears that everything broke at once. However, our buildings and campuses have been slowly degrading over the years with the exacerbation of the pandemic where many were not paying attention to the condition of the facilities. Now school is back in session we can see the disrepair and are learning of new issues. No one seems to know how we got here, and many are unsure when things will be fixed. The truth is that we cannot wait.

Many campuses have had facilities issues since pre-pandemic. The roof at the Evans Center has been leaking for at least 10 years. Flooding at Batmale Hall is common and broken elevators in that building and others are commonplace. The boiler at the Mission Campus has been broken since pre-pandemic as well as in other buildings across the District. Now that we are mostly in-person, we are remembering that these buildings need serious TLC.

I currently teach at the Mission Campus where two space heaters aren’t enough to keep me and my students warm. Students have stopped attending as a result of the cold. Here it is April, and my students and I are still wearing multiple layers, fingerless gloves, scarves and hats.  We have hope that the heat will be fixed by Fall 2023, but we will not feel so hopeful until the construction begins.

“City College Rising” Photo-Illustration by JohnTaylor Wildfeuer/The Guardsman

Cold facilities are something that many teachers, students and staff are battling. I have visited the Photography studio which is very cold.  Since they have specialized equipment, they cannot move to another room or building. The dark room is very cold and the chemicals need to be at 60 – 80 degrees which means the students are unable to develop their photos properly.  Some buildings have had water intrusion that lead to mold or power outages. These are just a few examples of the problems we have in our buildings.  

All of these conditions have made people feel uncared for, ignored and  even angry.  People feel neglected; a reflection of the buildings that we work and learn in. Some of us have hope that the bids will go through and things will get repaired in a timely manner. Others are angry and do not believe that anything will get repaired any time soon. What can we do until we are warm?  Space heaters are too small for our large rooms. Hand warmers for instructors are not adequate. The students are particularly cold sitting on those frigid, plastic chairs. What can we do?

I do not understand how we let our facilities get so broken down. Is there a way to ensure that the repairs continue, regardless of who is in charge? How can we ensure that everything isn’t broken at once?  I would like to see the current repairs happen and a method in place for continued care when there is a vacancy in leadership. Who can help us with this?

I feel hopeful that we will be warm by next winter, but what happens if there are other facilities issues? How can employees and students feel assured that they are in a safe, comfortable building? We remain at City College because we love it, but the facilities have caused people to feel disgruntled and neglected. Let’s bring back the hope in functional, safe buildings.

The Guardsman