By Natalie Camrud ‘17
A recent heat wave in Claremont highlighted the need for air conditioning in the old dorms at Scripps. The heat was such that students in non-air-conditioned halls were sent an email saying they could sleep in the Tiernan Field House, Scripps’ air-conditioned gym, for the night. The administration also distributed cots so that students could sleep in the living rooms of air-conditioned residence halls.
This ordeal made the issue of air conditioning in dorms much more relevant and pressing, especially for the students. This summer, air conditioning was installed in Clark, one of the oldest dorm on campus. According to the Vice President of Business Affairs and Treasurer Donna Ng, Clark was chosen for air conditioning because it is typically the hottest dorm in the afternoons.
“Installing air conditioning is a major investment and a priority for the college,” Ng said when asked why not all Scripps dorms have air conditioning at the moment. “The college follows a process as it prioritizes budget requests.”
The budget request process is complicated and includes reviewing, prioritizing, and approving a budget request. The price must also be considered.
“The current estimated cost to install air conditioning in each residence hall is $1.5 million,” Ng said about the installation process. “The process involves removing an old heating system, adding insulation and installing equipment and related infrastructure.”
This process is expensive but with heat waves that reach 111 degrees, it might become necessary in the future. “While heat waves at this time of year are generally expected, record-breaking temperatures are impossible to predict,” Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Charlotte Johnson said. “Should a similar event happen in the future, our staff will again be prepared to act quickly to minimize the negative impact of the high temperatures.”
Climate change has brought with it hotter temperatures; heat records are being broken every tear. so it seems that Scripps students can only expect more of the same in the coming years. When students need to go sleep in the gym and other academic buildings, the issue of air conditioning comes to the forefronts of everyone’s minds.