As temperature starts to drop down here on Rocky Top, students rush to their classrooms to enjoy the lovely warmth of the buildings on UT’s campus before entering their classes, but some students have noticed that the system heat is not on, causing them to shiver through their classes. As the winter months progress, students fear the colder temperatures will follow them even into their classrooms due to lack of heating in multiple buildings on campus.
The Hodges Library has always been the one building on campus where students spend most of their time pulling all-nighters doing projects, studying or doing homework. This building has also been characterized as a really cold building even during the winter months.
“I know it has to be kept pretty cold because of the books, they don’t do well with high temperatures,” said James Wood, a librarian at Hodges. “I do notice that it is kind of inconsistent on how cold it is, some days are really cold, some days it’s okay.” According to research from the University of Chicago the perfect storage environment for books is between 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% relative humidity.
“During the change of seasons from fall to winter that’s when it gets a little colder here, as soon as we get into winter the heat is always going to be on,” said Greg Womac, a librarian at Hodges.
According to WeatherSpark, the cold season here in Knoxville lasts for about 2.9 months starting in late November reaching all the way to the end of Feb. 25. But here, the weather tends to fluctuate, especially in between seasons. While winter hasn’t officially begun, we can see within the past two days temperatures have reached as high as 72 degrees Fahrenheit in the early days of November.
“It’s kind of a centralized heating system for the whole library so it’s kind of an all or nothing thing,” Womac said. “During the winter-spring it’s always so hot here until we really get over the spring weather, when we have cold days and then hot days the system cannot keep up with it.”
Students notice the fluctuations, too.
“I come to the library very often and I have noticed how cold it gets here. I need to keep my jacket on and some of my friends sometimes bring their blankets because they get super cold when doing homework,” said Carlos Fletcher, who is a senior studying industrial engineering.
The UT heating system runs on steam that circulates through most on campus buildings. Once the heat is turned on, it will stay on for most of the winter months. The heating on campus has been powered on within the recent days and a toasty winter season is upon us.