Parking Paranoia at York College

AC-PAC heating and cooling pip replacement construction map. Photo Cred: York College News Alert
AC-PAC heating and cooling pip replacement construction map. Photo Cred: York College News Alert

By Natesha Folkes

Returning from summer recess, York students were welcomed back with no access to an entrance in the parking lot.

What’s left of the entrance that was located next to the Milton G. Basin Performing Arts Center is a construction site that has been there since July. Large piles of dirt, orange safety barrels, and tarps are scattered in front of the school building.

Other than emails sent in August, the only notice to students is a sign by York’s Department of Public safety.

According to the Executive Director of Facilities at York College, James Minto,  construction is being done in the middle of the parking lot due to the school’s old piping system. The project is called “AC-PAC Heating/Cooling Pipe Replacement.”

The system is 25-years old and within the past ten years, there have only been two repairs. Several months ago, another problem was detected with the pipes which resulted in an emergency pipe replacement.  The system is responsible for transferring material vital to cooling and heating between the Academic Core Building to the Performing Arts Center.

“The project is underway and not yet completed,” Minto said. “The anticipated completion date and testing of the new piping system barring no unforeseen delays, is October 16, 2015.”

Some students felt that the emails sent out during summer break was not an efficient method of notifying students and making sure everyone was aware of the renovations.  

“I did wonder what was going on with the parking lot because there was no information given by York on what is going on,” said Malcolm Holmes, 19, a Communication Technology major. “I didn’t know what entrance to even use until I asked someone.”

Minto maintained that students were given notice about the renovation via email. “There were two notifications to the York College Community via email blasts. The first dated July 22, 2015, titled ‘AC-PAC Heating/Cooling Pipe Replacement’, and the second dated August 24, 2015, titled, ‘Welcome Message from President Marcia V. Keizs- Fall 2015.’ In both emails specific reference was made to the York Community.”

With the front entrance of the parking lot being unavailable for use, students who drive to school express the inconvenience of the construction.

“I’m annoyed,” said Claujan Pryce, 20, a Business Administration major. “It’s an inconvenience to me because I don’t drive on Merrick blvd. to enter from the other side so I have to park at the other parking lot which is further away from the building where my class is. The first day of school I went to go park there and I was almost late because I realized that I had to park at the other parking lot.”

Minto stressed that the repairs were emergency in nature and vital to the continued use of the PAC as the upcoming winter bears down.

“If the ‘failed integrity’ of AC-PAC Heating/Cooling Pipe System piping is not replaced we will not be able to Heat or Cool the PAC building from the AC building as designed,” Minto said. “That would mean we could not have teachers and students actively participate in the teaching and learning programs offered at the PAC Building, and that would be detrimental to the mission of York College. Completing this project before the Heating season of winter is crucial to the mission of York College.”

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