Aging Buildings Prevent Air Conditioning in Greeley Amid Hot Summers

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Despite fall fast approaching, abnormal heat continues to plague the country and especially Colorado. The state has seen a rise in temperatures for the past 10 years and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. This summer alone, Greeley has had over 40 days of 90 degrees or hotter which has caused issues for many Greeley residents and UNC students.

“The heat’s been unbearable at times,” said junior Chloe Wheeler, who lives on campus at UNC, “as soon as I moved into my dorm room, I knew I needed more fans than the two I already had.”

Wheeler lives without air conditioning in Harrison Hall, one of the largest residence halls on campus which is very popular due to its proximity to Holmes Dining Hall and the campus rec center. The residence hall was built in 1966, which is relatively recent when looking at UNC’s extensive history. Unlike many of the older buildings on campus, though, Harrison Hall hasn’t seen extensive renovations since its construction.

This lack of air conditioning doesn’t just affect students who live on campus though. Many off-campus housing options available to students also don’t have air conditioning.

“I’ve been living off campus for four years now and in the four houses I’ve lived in, none of them have had AC,” said senior Julia Nowakowski.

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Nowakowski rents through Big Bear Properties, one of the many rental companies in Greeley that focus especially on providing housing to college students. The company owns over 150 rental properties throughout Greeley and Fort Collins, and nearly all of their properties in Greeley are over 75 years old. Some of Big Bear Properties’ houses date back to the 1930’s and ‘40s, with one, located at 2102 8th Ave, even being built in 1927.

This is one of the biggest causes for the lack of air-conditioned homes in Greeley. Air conditioning wasn’t commonplace in American homes until the 1960’s and most of the houses surrounding UNC were built several years prior to that. This makes it very hard and expensive for rental property companies like Big Bear Properties to install air conditioning units because the houses simply weren’t meant to have it.

“It can be very difficult in some of these older houses to get the AC to work because of the old ventilation systems and such,” said Harold McGarr, Big Bear Properties’ head of maintenance.

Rentals like these are one of the only options for students who wish to stay in Greeley over the summer, though, and the lack of air conditioning mixed with the increasing temperatures has caused issues for many of these students.

“It was getting to the point where I felt like I would never stop sweating,” said junior Logan Pape.

Pape explained that the intense heat led him to purchase a personal air conditioning unit for his bedroom. These units cost hundreds of dollars, which only adds to the numerous expenses many college students are faced with.

With temperatures seeming to only rise during Colorado summers, it seems like this may be the harsh reality that UNC students will continue to face.

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