College announces extended utility reduction effort to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions during winter 2020-21

The following message was sent to students, faculty and staff via email on Nov. 23.

Dear Campus Community,

With the transition to remote instruction next week, we write to inform you that we will extend the period when we turn down heat in many campus buildings to begin next week and continue through Jan. 17. We consulted with deans and building supervisors to ensure that we are protecting people, supplies and equipment that might be harmed by reduced temperatures.

While we realize that the extended utility reduction effort may be inconvenient for some, we do believe this effort could produce significant utility savings at a time when our budgets are constrained, and the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting our sustainability efforts. This year affords us the added opportunity to utilize the current telecommuting policy to increase the length and scope of our building closures with minimal disruption to employee work.

We realize that although our students will be leaving campus on Wednesday, Nov. 25, remote instruction will continue through Dec. 8, and some courses may still have an in-person component, such as use of art studios, necessitating a presence on campus for some faculty, students and staff. After that date, we anticipate that campus will be nearly empty until Jan. 17, 2021, when the residence halls reopen for the spring semester.

Please be advised of the following revisions to the building operations/heating schedules:

  • During the period of Nov. 25 – Dec. 8, all campus buildings will operate under normal schedules, but with a slight temperature decrease in each building.  Please bring extra layers as some areas may feel cold to you!
  • From Dec. 9 – Jan. 17, buildings will be set in “unoccupied” mode (building temps reduced substantially) with the following exceptions:
    • Coykendall Science Building
    • Wooster Hall
    • Smiley Arts Building
    • Sojourner Truth Library
    • Dorsky Museum
    • Fine Arts Building
    • Hopfer House
    • Grimm House
    • Mohonk Hall
    • Service Building
    • South Faculty Office Building

Faculty/staff requiring a regular/daily presence in other areas where buildings are in “unoccupied” mode will be provided with space heaters for those areas. 

ALL buildings will still have regular card access (all fac/staff can enter during normal business hours) to facilitate occasional access to gather paperwork or water plants. Please remember to bring a sweatshirt, hat and gloves when coming to campus! Should you encounter any issues with card access, please call extension 3034.

We recognize that while telecommuting has offered some flexibility and support to many, it is also true that many employees have not taken extended or planned time away from work. We know that some time to recharge and step away from work is important to maintaining a healthy balance and encourage employees to think about taking time during this extended period if possible. Employees who chose to take partial or whole days during this period should make appropriate arrangements with their supervisors and charge vacation accordingly.

Any critical issues with heat in buildings should be reported to extension 3301.

We truly appreciate this and all of the other cost savings and carbon reduction measures you have helped us achieve during these past nine months.

Michele Halstead, Vice President for Administration & Finance

John Shupe, Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management