Campus Left in the Cold After Heating Pipe Break

Updated: Oct 23, 2018

by Davone Presley

Photo by Davone Presley

A recent pipe break in Purchase’s central heating system caused a heating outage in many buildings across campus, right when temperatures are starting to drop drastically.

The pipe break, which occurred Oct. 11, was the result of aging pipes in the central heating system, according to Michael Kopas, Senior Director of Facilities and Capital Planning.

“The pipes are old and have started to deteriorate,” Kopas said. “During start up, they are pressurized and sometimes the weaker areas break.”

This heating system, which relies on water that can be as hot as 400 degrees, is in the middle of a phased repair project to replace every piece of piping in the system, which Kopas said will help prevent breaks in the future. “Each year, there is less likely to be issues as a greater percentage of piping will be new,” Kopas said.

Currently one phase of the project that will replace the piping used between Campus Center North and the Olde has been completed, with another phase set to be complete in the summer.

In the meantime, the recent break has left many dorms and apartments chilled to the bone, with many students layering up while indoors and turning to alternative sources of heat. Olde resident Julia Murzynski said that she opens her window and lets the sun warm her room when the heat is out.

Another pressing concern that students have regarding heat is which places on campus have heat, as currently some parts have heat while others don’t. The Olde, which was said to have been affected by the recent break, has heat in some apartments, while others don’t.

Farside resident Gabrielle Stoma has also experienced uneven heating on campus. Her suite in Farside received heat last Tuesday, but she said that “The V.A. in all technicality has heat but it does nothing and it's still freezing unless you’re sitting on top of the heater.”

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