By Josephine Clay
Board of Trustees President Alan Wong called a special board meeting Nov. 28 to hold the college and administration accountable for keeping students and staff warm and to share a heating update for Ocean Campus.
In an email sent the morning of Nov. 28, Wong said he’d heard many concerns about heating, specifically regarding Ocean Campus and the Visual Arts building. Wong said at the end of his email, “Until we get these heating issues fully resolved, the heat should be on us and the college leadership to fix it.”
A heating update was given by Alberto Vasquez, associate vice chancellor of construction and planning, at the Board of Trustees meeting later that day, repeating much of the information shared in the Nov. 1 heating issues update. However, new information was shared regarding the dates for the completion of projects and the submission of designs to the California Division of the State Architecture (DSA).
The Wellness Center boiler, which was meant to be working Nov. 2023, is now set to be complete by Dec. 2023 due to a gas line pressure issue.
The Student Health Center’s transformer will be completed over winter break, most likely by Jan. 3.
The science building’s new heating system design will be submitted to the DSA in the spring, after which construction and installation will begin.
Rosenberg Library’s boilers and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) designs were submitted Nov. 8 to DSA.
Plans for Smith Hall’s independent heating system and controls are being designed, and the targeted date for submission to DSA is sometime in Spring 2024.
Once Smith Hall’s designs are completed and submitted, blueprinting for an independent heating system and controls for each of the arts buildings will begin.
However, for the time being, students and staff in the arts buildings must rely on temporary solutions like small generators and space heaters, according to the update.
Despite these prospective fixes and temporary solutions, anxieties about the cold still linger.
Wong shared his experience visiting the Visual Arts building before the board meeting. It was 55 degrees inside the building.
“I went into one of their rooms,” said Wong, “and they were using these little space heaters to try to maintain the temperature of the room.”
He continued, “And, you know, I do think our staff are working and doing their best to address all of these different priorities we face as a college. And, at the same time, I don’t think it’s acceptable that our students and our staff are depending on space heaters in order to keep themselves warm.”