After a three-day hiatus, the AMS Peer Support Centre (PSC) re-opened its doors on Monday at a reasonable temperature for operations.
Last Thursday, a press release was issued by the AMS, noting the temporarily closure of the PSC, the Academic Grievance Centre and the Housing Resource Centre due to unbearable cold.
All listed services are located in the JDUC, adjacent to the ongoing construction of the new Innovation and Wellness Centre. When the west wall of the former PEC was demolished, insulation to the JDUC services was compromised.
On Jan. 11, the AMS notified the University of the heating issues while issuing space heaters and heating blankets to volunteer workers in the affected offices. As of March 16, they were awaiting response, but when temperatures dropped to 12.3 degrees in the offices, the offices closed down.
A temperature of 12.3 degrees was 18 degrees below the minimum temperature required for office workspaces, according to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act.
However, the AMS was clear in their Thursday statement that an alternative space would be sought for the PSC first, saying its services were “far too valuable to be shut down, especially as we approach exam season”.
According to AMS Vice President (Operations) Dave Walker, the AMS team worked with University representatives and members of the project management team over the weekend to find a solution that wouldn’t halt demolition, nor leave the offices unusable.
“[Physical Plant Services] and construction crews applied a thermal blanket and non-flammable propane heaters to supplement the lack of insulation and heat retention on the PEC’s interior wall,” Walker wrote via email.
“Over a four day span, room temperatures rose by 7 degrees Celsius in the PSC.”
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