HVAC compressor in the Learning Center breaks down

Classes left with negligible air conditioning

Students and teachers in the Learning Center experienced high heat due to broken air conditioning on the afternoon of Aug. 16.

A fan in San Jose State stands in the front left corner of the classroom. (Photo by Joe Shem.)

Cathedral of Faith has Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units installed in all of the buildings on campus. One of two compressor units in the 40-year-old HVAC unit that regulates the temperature in the Learning Center broke down the preceding night. Inspection by two repairmen revealed a burnt out and disconnected wire, which halved the effectiveness of the air conditioning.

“The way these air conditioners work, they recycle the air from outside in,” Cathedral of Faith Operations Manager Lynn Lazo said. “So if it becomes 100 degrees outside, I can only call it off to 80. It’s just the way they were 20 years ago before even I got here.”

UPA’s administration was alerted of the HVAC compressor breakdown through an email by Lazo. After being notified by Lazo, UPA’s administration sent out an email to all staff alerting them of the lack of air conditioning. Students, however, were not notified.

Social studies teacher Brent Williams attempts to set up a fan during class to lessen the heat in Harvard. (Photo by Joe Shem.)

The HVAC compressor wire was replaced the next morning by the Cathedral of Faith’s HVAC repairman, who also is a member of the Cathedral of Faith. 

The Cathedral of Faith has been servicing the HVAC system as needed and plans to continue to do so.

While the HVAC unit was functioning at half capacity, the temperature of classrooms began to reflect the mid-80s degree weather outside. Teachers began using the fans in their classrooms to deal with the heat.

Social studies teacher Brent Williams taught his sociology class in San Jose State during fifth period and his economics class in Harvard during seventh period.

“We had that fan over [on the upper left corner of the Harvard Classroom],” Williams said. “We had a fan in San Jose State so that kind of helped a little bit. It got pretty muggy and gross.”

One of two fans in Harvard is stored in the front left corner of the classroom. When in use, it is perched on top of a desk. (Photo by Joe Shem.)

English teacher Andrea Aquino’s solution was to finish up her seventh period in the hallway.

“The last 10 to 15 minutes of class, I just had them come out and sit here,” Aquino said. “It was that much cooler. You could feel it as you walk through the door because it’s wet and hot [in the classroom] and [in the hallway] it was a little bit cooler, and it wasn’t wet.”