Portable classrooms heating up

During the first week of September, some of the air conditioners in the Building 24 portable classrooms broke down, causing the temperatures to rise to high levels for classes taking place, causing both students and staff to experience severe discomfort and intense sweat.

Fourth-year computer science student Pedro Beltran was present when the air conditioner in Building 24C, room 1228 broke down, spewing smoke into the room and prompting an immediate response.

“There was some mild smoke coming out the vents,” Beltran said. 

The portable classroom’s age may be a cause of the failing AC systems.
(Steven Everett | The Poly Post)

Beltran added that the maintenance crew arrived at approximately 4 p.m. to fix it, a mere five minutes after the air conditioner broke down. 

Beltran also stated the doors and windows were all opened when the air conditioner broke down, and the box fan inside the room was turned on to cool the room down. 

There have been reported rumors of students passing out due to the heat exhaustion; however, that claim has not been confirmed.

The Building 24 portables classrooms are particularly old-fashioned structures, as stated by English and Modern Languages Professor Olga Griswold. She also stated with the extreme temperature present at the start of the semester, it was unclear if the air conditioner in Building 24D, room 1220 (where she teaches) was even working at all to begin with. 

Griswold also added that due to the extreme outside temperature, which had reached triple digits, windows were kept shut. And while nobody in her class passed out due to heat exhaustion, they did experience major discomfort.

Cal Poly Pomona’s geographic location is already within the usually very warm city of Pomona, in the San Gabriel Valley. It’s not unheard of for on-campus temperatures to reach the triple digits in the summer. 

Within the valley, such high temperatures persist well into September just before the transition of the summer season to fall. However, it isn’t until approximately mid-October that the weather starts to cool down in tandem with the impending change in seasons.

Many of CPP’s buildings have air conditioning which runs constantly as long as they’re receiving power. This turns buildings and classrooms into popular hangout spots for students and faculty alike to escape the heat. 

Fourth-year accounting student Danny Ha reported that his class in Building 24C, had a circular fan turned on to help cool the room down.

The Building 24 portables aren’t as cool as most buildings on campus. so discomfort and sweating are still symptoms of being in those rooms for the duration of a class. As of Sept. 6, no serious health risks have been reported.

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