Temperatures to drop as St. Augustine’s students could be without heat for another week

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The temperatures are going to drop back into the 30s over the weekend, but it could be another week before students at St. Augustine’s University get the heat turned back on in their dorm.

Approximately 80 students in the Latham Hall Dorm are affected by the lack of heat. Some are taking unusual measures to keep warm.

“I’ve talked to a student who every night throws his covers in the dryer to stay warm,” said freshman Traevon Brown. “I even turned on my toaster last night so I can warm up my hands a little bit.”

The school told CBS 17 the aging boiler in the building failed last week, but a resident of that dorm provided a video of a meeting with students last night in which administrators said they weren’t notified of the boiler failure until four days after it happened.

“We found out about it on Sunday at 12.48 a.m.,” said Vice President of Student Services Dr. Keith Smith.

The university said the problem is due to the age of the boiler.

“The boiler was installed in the late 70s. It’s hard to get parts for,” said school voice president Dr. Steve Hairston. “We’re trying to work through that issue to get it repaired or replaced.”

Students learned there will be no quick fix for the heat in their dorm.

“We’re talking four to 10 working days, not business days,” said Dr. Smith. “So, that means if they were to start tomorrow or Friday, we would probably go till next Friday.”

Administrators have offered to temporarily send students to other dorms until the heat is restored.

CBS 17 has also looked into student concerns about mold issues in the Latham dorm.

At the meeting, administrators told students they believe they’ve got a handle on that now.

“We had the mold issue,” Hairston said. “We tried to address that as soon as we could and I think that space looks a lot different.”

University leaders also repeatedly cautioned students about talking to the media.

“Our business is family business, not the business of the state of North Carolina, and the more we take our business out in the street, the worse we look as a family,” Chief Operating Officer Dr. Sandye Wilson told the assembled students.

After the meeting, at least one resident of the Latham Dorm said he’s satisfied the school is taking action.

“We are hopeful that things will get better, “said Brown. This is temporary.

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