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Kays Hall causes problems

Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012

Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 18:09

crickets in kays

Paige Walker, Staff Photographer

Kays Hall residents this semester have encountered cold showers, slight flooding and bugs in the 47-year-old building.

Payton Overturf, a sophomore theatre major of Cabot and residence assistant to the ninth floor in Kays, said slight flooding occurred during a storm Sept. 6.

“It was only in the foyer of Kays and at the opening of the side doors,” Overturf said. “(The flooding) actually didn’t make it into any of the rooms or into the hallway.”

Mindi McAlpin, a freshman journalism major of West Memphis, said she was leaving the building when she noticed the flooding. “I saw water in the foyer that was up to the first step,” McAlpin said.

Timothy Keown, a freshman communications studies major of Cabot, described the flooding as “ankle deep.”

April Hicks Konvalinka, associate director of facilities, said the flooding is an isolated issue created by Mother Nature.

Students have also noted smaller creatures taking residence in Kays Hall.

“There’s beetles and grass hoppers in the laundry room and on the walls of the stairwells,” Keown said.

“Due to the weather change, a lot bugs are getting in through the side doors,” Overturf said. Maintenance is kept up-to-date and takes care of the problem, he said.

McAlpin pointed out that she had not noticed any bugs.

There has also been a problem with the water temperature in Kays Hall. This is because of a burned out motor affected by normal wear, Konvalinka said.

“Until last week I only took one hot shower since school started,” McAlpin said.

Overturf also said maintenance should have the problem taken care of within the month.

“There is hardly any hot water,” said Amber Guthrie, a freshman pediatric nursing major of Paragould. “I can’t even wash my hands because the water is cold.”

“They got it fixed, but the other day I took a cold shower and then this morning it was hot,” Keown said. “It’s so off and on and there is always people down there working on it.”

Maintenance and housekeeping were contacted about the situation but had no comment. Konvalinka said Kays is not having “a lot” of issues, and she had no further comment about the matters.

Another issue Guthrie expressed frustration with was the temperature of the building.

“We have no control over the air conditioning,” Guthrie said.

Kays will be making a transition next summer from a two-pipe system to a four-pipe system along with the replacing all fan coil units, Konvalinka said.

“The current heating and cooling system in Kays is from the 60s,” said David Handwork, director of engineering services. “It was time for an upgrade.”

Due to lingering maintenance issues, the heating and cooling of the building has become the main focus of repairs the past two or three years, Handwork said.

“We are doing a full renovation of the heating and cooling system of the entire building,” said Handwork. This is an exciting project for the department as well as for the residents, Konvalinka commented.

Handwork said the renovations can only be done during the summer when students aren’t living in the building and the first phase of the project was done this past summer.

“We went in and installed the replacement piping for the heating and cooling system,” Handwork said. “Next summer we will tear out the old piping and replace the fan cooling units.”

The difference between the two-pipe system that Kays has now and the four-pipe system that Kays is converting to, Handwork said, is the ability for each room to have its own temperature.

“Students won’t have to vote for the entire building to be hot or cool,” Handwork said.

Handwork also mentioned that the new system should improve energy efficiency.

“We will be monitoring the energy usage and be able to report that to residence life,” Handwork said. “We really want to equipped our buildings, as we do renovations, with information and initiatives that help students be aware of their energy use within the buildings.”

Handwork hopes at some point to reward students for saving energy and for reducing the energy they use on a daily basis.

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