Last weekend, as temperatures began to sink into the single digits and even below zero, many students made their way inside, out of the cold, and to a safe haven of warmth.
Those in the Townhouses encountered something far different, however.
Many realized that hot water was non-existent. By Saturday the heating systems were also not working properly, leaving some houses with temperatures below 60 degrees.
“I tried to take a shower and it wasn’t getting hot,” said junior Daniel Johnson, who resides in Townhouse 8. “And then I waited a little longer and it still wasn’t warming up.”
No one knew what was happening. Some sent out emails, inquiring when it was going to be fixed. But for many, all they could do is wait.
“We had got an email from facilities about the situation,” Johnson said. “And so we just waited until an update came.”
Along with the water temperature, as Johnson explained, he realized that the house was chilly and that there was no heat, keeping the house around 50 degrees.
Many residents thought it could be the result of frozen pipes, as that can commonly occur during cold stretches. But according to Kevin Roy, Springfield College’s Director of Facilities Management, this was not the case.
“Everyone is pulling gas from Eversource’s gas main and when it’s super cold there’s a higher demand,” Roy said. “Once we learned there was lower gas pressure available than what we needed, and we had to make changes with the gas company to the boiler, and set it up so we could use less pressure.”
Although cold weather strikes New England quite often throughout the winter, the concern of something like this happening again is unlikely, according to Roy. But with the off chance it does, all they can do is act as quickly as possible.
“It’s rare that this does happen, but when it does we are at the mercy of Eversource gas,” Roy said.
During unforeseen circumstances, such as this one, Johnson was appreciative of Roy and his staff doing what they could to ensure that the heat and water came back as soon as possible.
“You can prepare for these cold situations, but you can’t predict when something is going to fail,” Johnson said. “And so I was very appreciative of the fact they were able to acknowledge the issue so quickly, keep everyone updated, and get everything working as soon as possible, especially in these conditions.”
Photo: Luke Whitehouse/ The Student