Tuesday, August 16

Students Express Relief at UF’s Decision to Add Central Air Conditioning to Dorms

Florida is one of the hottest states in the U.S., with average summer temperatures in the 80s and 90s throughout the summer months. It might seem like Florida is one of the few states where you can expect air conditioning to be in every building, especially for places like schools and stores. For many University of Florida students, though, relief has only just arrived.

According to The Alligator, a local Gainesville paper, all UF residence halls will have finally received central air conditioning by 2015. For many students, the change will provide welcome relief from the high temperatures that frequently drive students into cooler libraries and halls to study.

“If these dorms change, their popularity would change because they would cater to today’s living,” reflects Sara Wedemeyer, a 19-year-old geology student. Prior to the decision to outfit the dormitories with central air, students either had wall units, or had to bring their own cooling devices.

Oelrich Construction Inc. will be doing the first round of central air conditioning installations this summer in Beckman Hall, which will cost the school an estimated $1.3 million. The installations will continue next summer in Thomas Hall, costing an estimated $1.7 million.

A few students, though, are not as thrilled about the change. Though they see the benefit of central air, they also wonder whether it’s a bit of lost history — several of the buildings were the first ever built at UF, which was established in 1853. “There isn’t going to be anything left from the past,” says Jackie Ramos, a 20-year-old nutritional science major.

For the most part, though, students are happy to hear about the change. Not only does central air conditioning provide greater comfort — which can be important for students hard at work studying — but it can also improve air quality and reduce the risk of molds and mildews developing, especially in older buildings.

“For what UF charges for tuition and room and board, you would think UF would have at least had air conditioning in their dorm rooms. Being cool definitely helps with all aspects of schooling, especially getting a good night’s sleep. I’m glad to hear they’re finally air conditioning the dorms.” states Andy Dennis, Owner of Andy’s Air Inc.

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