Colorado Mesa University’s Escalante academic building was without air conditioning all day Wednesday as a leak was discovered outside of room 130 the previous evening. Grand Junction temperatures reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit heat during the day.

“Today in class we left a half hour to twenty minutes early, just because the students couldn’t focus. Everyone was fanning themselves, which was making it hard for our professor to teach because it’s a distraction,” Alexis Dymek, a student in Escalante, said. “A few people were even saying they were dizzy.”

This is the third time this has happened in the three-year-old Escalante building; the previous leak reportedly occurred over the summer.

Request for information and comment was declined by Keegan Pfeiffer, sustainability, energy and utilities manager for the university.

The faculty was alerted to the issue Tuesday night in an email sent out to them.

“This afternoon I reported to Facilities a leak outside EH 130. This leak is consistent with the two previous ones and Roberts Plumbing has been contacted. Consequently, there will be no air conditioning in classrooms and offices starting today,” the email read. “You can bring a fan to mitigate the heat in your offices and we suggest keeping the shades down in both classrooms and offices. The weather is projected to get cooler in the next few days and that will be helpful. We will keep you posted as we learn more about the repair from Facilities and Roberts Plumbing.”

Administration wanted to enforce the idea that a comfortable learning environment is a high priority to CMU. This emphasis is shown in the course evaluations handed to students near the end of each semester, which ask for feedback about the classroom.

“I think you would go a long, long way before you found another university where you would have a better in-class experience,” Vice President of Student Services John Marshall said. Marshall stated that some things are beyond their control. “It’s just the real world, and sometimes things break.”

The specifics of the cause of the leak are not known, and a representative from Roberts Plumbing could not confirm if they were commissioned to repair this particular issue.

CMU facilities would not confirm when the issue will be resolved, but it was fixed and running again Thursday afternoon.

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Alec Williams
Alec Williams is a political science major and editor in chief for The Criterion's 2017/2018 academic year. Starting in the spring of 2016, Williams rose from the ranks of a reporter to news editor to managing editor to his current position. Williams was awarded the Society of Professional Journalists 2016 Region 9 Mark of Excellence for his efforts in investigative reporting.


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