Second floor of Holland College Charlottetown building loses heat, students, teachers forced to relocate

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Holland College Practical Nursing students found this sign in front of their classroom Monday morning after it was relocated due to lack of heat. Haley-Lynn Bohan photo

By Haley-Lynn Bohan

Jan. 19, 2017

On Monday, students, teachers and faculty shared the problem of freezing cold classrooms and hallways from lack of heat.

This proved especially difficult for the practical nursing students who had quite the run-around trying to find where they could have class.

Amber MacGregor, a practical nursing student, said they were told to go to the lecture hall downstairs, only to be redirected to the CAST Building since the hall was only bookable for half the day.

“It was just kind of a pain, an inconvenience.”

But MacGregor said even the CAST building room was cold, and cramped on top of it all. And being in a separate building from their labs and practice dummies also made things difficult.

“It was just weird. The classroom was tiny and we were all crammed in there. I just didn’t like it.”

Still, they managed to end class at their regular time.

In fact, they were lucky to get another room at all, as the college has a limited number of bookable rooms.

Paul Murnaghan, program manager, said it was hard to find rooms for the six or seven classes affected by the heating as most were already at capacity.

As for letting students and staff know, Cathy Macdonald sent emails to all teachers letting them know of the heating problem.

Murnaghan phoned around and walked room to room in the CAST building to find rooms with either extra space or empty and bookable for the day, but it was necessary.

“It was a very uncomfortable environment. Very hard to learn.”

But this isn’t the first time this has happened.

Murnaghan said depending on the age of the machines, and the severity of the weather, the heating system could kick off.

“They never work 100 per cent of the time.”

But there are preventative measures that can be taken.

Murnaghan said staff members regularly check the machines to make sure they’re working.

He also said it could happen again, but the college is looking for government funding to upgrade the heating and cooling systems.

But as for this instance, Murnaghan said why it wasn’t working is unclear. There is no report yet, but a work report will be sent out shortly.

He suspects it could have been a valve issue.

The heat came back on later in the day.