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The Best And Worst Air-Conditioned Buildings On Campus

When you clicked on this article, you probably thought to yourself, “Oh, what a fun and trivial topic. This should be fun to read.” Unfortunately, that is simply not the case.

On-campus buildings’ air conditioning systems are no laughing matter. Personally, I see it as a matter of life and death, but that’s just me. However, no matter the case, they are undoubtedly a serious and integral component of student survival — especially in the early weeks of the school year.

Understanding which buildings have the most efficient and consistent airflow can help you determine the best study spots to seek out. It can also help you find a moment’s rest from the relentless Penn State hills and unforgiving midday sun you simply did not anticipate when you dressed in a sweatshirt and sweats in the early hours of the morning.

The Worst

Sackett Building

Does Sackett even have air conditioning? Honestly, I’m not really sure.

Sackett, without a doubt, has the worst airflow out of any building on campus.

I’ve been forced to sit through many a gen ed — including the popularly despised CAS 100 — in its stifling rooms. Sackett has a special way of making an already crappy class, even crappier, and that’s a talent.

The building has seemingly not been updated since 1960, and thus its classroom windows barely open wide enough to allow ventilation to run through. If you can avoid taking a class in Sackett, I would recommend doing so at all costs.

Carnegie Building

While Carnegie dons beautiful architecture and an impressive cinema inside, the air conditioning could use a bit of work.

It doesn’t matter the time of the year. The classrooms inside Carnegie always call for layering. Sometimes, it seems as if the air conditioning has been shut off and you suddenly feel the need to strip down to a t-shirt and shorts. Other times, the air conditioning kicks in and you’re welcomed with its sweet, sweet embrace.

Overall, Carnegie’s a bit of a hit or miss. I appreciate the building’s ventilation efforts, but in the end, it’s not really working.

The Okay-ish

Willard Building

Air conditioning in Willard is always a bit of a mixed bag. For whatever reason, it always feels as if the higher up you get, the less the air conditioning works. As a result, classrooms in the basement feel like the tundra while rooms on the 3rd floor imitate a sauna.

As a student studying fields in communications and liberal arts, science isn’t really my thing. I have heard the saying that hot air rises, and perhaps that’s the explanation to Willard’s problem. But no matter the reason, it’s undeniable that the air conditioning is wonky.

Thus, despite having extremely cool cooling systems in the basement, the overall lack of consistency and top-floor humidity earns Willard a spot at number three.

Thomas Building

With so many rooms and classes to cater to, it’s no wonder that Thomas is well-ventilated. Can you imagine taking a class in the 700-person lecture hall that is Thomas 100 without air conditioning?

I don’t know about you, but just the thought of that smells like B.O. with a hint of heatstroke. Administrators have (thankfully) kept our well-being in mind when installing air conditioning in the building. Thomas always provides a nice break from the sun.

However, because of the size and mass amounts of students Thomas houses on a daily basis, it can get a bit crowded and thus a bit warm. It’s a difficult problem to avoid, and while Thomas does so pretty well, it doesn’t do it perfectly, which prevents it from taking the top spot.

The Best

HHD Building

It’s new. It’s sleek. It’s cool.

Honestly, the HHD and BBH Building could both tie for first place on this one, but I figured I’d pick one over the other.

No matter the temperature outside, the HHD Building’s cool embrace is always a welcome break from the outdoors. I’ve found myself wandering into its modern layout, hanging out in the lobby, and enjoying a nice, cool break from the sun.

Business Building

Much like HHD, the Business Building is new, cool, and sleek. As one of the best business schools for producing CEOs, it’s no wonder the university (probably) decided to shell out a decent amount of money for their air conditioning systems.

Despite its four floors and open-ceiling design, the building ventilates cool air extremely well. There’s never been a time when I’ve made the daunting walk from downtown and been disappointed by the air conditioning. Like at HHD, I feel treasured and truly loved by its cooling touch.

Ultimately, there’s not much else to say here. HHD and the Business Building are the best and that’s that on that.

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About the Author

Emma Dieter

Emma is a senior from the ever-popular "right-outside" Philly area studying labor employment relations and PR. She's also the Student Life editor for Onward State. She has been a Penn Stater from cradle and will continue to bleed blue and white, 'til grave. She loves trashy romance novels, watching Netflix, and crying over cute videos of dogs. If you ever want to talk more with her about how great she is, or simply have other inquiries, feel free to email her at [email protected]

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