Chilly Classrooms: Wilmington Friends Indoor Temperature Explained

Temi Lufadeju, Writer

As we start a new semester, many students wonder when the warmth will reappear. It’s important to be mindful of what you wear during these chilly times. At Friends, the temperature of rooms sure does remind us to plan ahead for the indoor weather. Are you really a student at WFS if you haven’t seen at least one person wear a jacket the whole day? The real question is, who oversees the temperature in the classroom? 

Bill Baczkowski is the Associate Head of School for Finance and Operations. Baczkowski is responsible for all financial matters relating to the school and for the facilities and foodservice operations. Some classrooms can be warm one day and on other days, that’s when the puffer jackets come out to play. According to Baczkowski, there are a number of factors that affect room temperatures. Baczkowski said “First of all, the comfort of the teacher comes into play. Some teachers like the room warmer than others and we have the ability through our Building Automation System (BAS)  to make those changes. Then, Baczkowski said, “The southern facing rooms are naturally warmer with more sun than the northern facing rooms, so the amount of glass and position relative to the sun factors into the equation as well”. There is also dramatic temperature variation throughout the day. The mornings are when it’s the coldest, but the system can sometimes also go into “unoccupied” mode during the evening and turn the temperature down to 55 degrees. Baczkowski said, “Depending on the location of the room, the room may be cooler in the morning until the BAS system catches up to the normal temperature”. 

Of course, the change in outside temperature has something to do with how the rooms may feel at different times of the day due to the settings in the BAS system. Baczkowski said, “Because we have to bring in fresh air to all classrooms, bringing in colder air in the winter requires that the outside air be warmed to a certain degree. This warming of the outside fresh air may feel cooler as it comes into the room”. A student at WFS, Hannah Macbride, exaggerated, “The rooms are like 20 degrees”. At Friends, the temperature for a classroom is actually typically 72 degrees, which is normal and where the building automation system would be set at. However, Baczkowski said, “Some teachers request changes to make it a little warmer and others a little cooler”. Now that’s that. So what can we do during these chilly times? For starters, dress warm and long for the time when it’s too cold.