President Robert Zeigler chose the right day to forgo his usual suit and tie as indoor temperatures surpassed those outside.
He said his short-sleeved shirt was not related to the loss of air conditioning in 13 buildings.
Administrators are allowed to dress casually during the summer because of high temperatures outside and usually wear traditional business attire only when situations call for it, such as during scheduled meetings.
The air conditioning system was not working until 9 a.m. this morning, two hours past the college opening.
After annual maintenance of the cooling tower over the summer’s first three-day weekend, a transformer became disconnected, facilities Superintendent David Ortega said.
Attempts to restart the system at 5 a.m. today were unsuccessful.
Air conditioning was out in the buildings “inside the grid,” he said.
The grid includes Fletcher Administration Center, Moody Learning Center, Chance Academic Center, the nursing and allied health complex, Susan R. and Jesse H. Oppenheimer Academic Center, Nail Technical Center, the student success center (formerly early college program), the chemistry and geology building, Loftin Student Center, McCreless Hall, Gonzales Hall and Candler Physical Education Center.
The photo lab on the first floor of Loftin Student Center reached a temperature of 92 degrees by 7 a.m., photography lab technician Mark Magavern said.
He put fans in the doorways to capture a breeze, which helped lower the temperature to about 85 degrees.
“That’s about all we could do,” Magavern said.
Zeigler said facilities at this college did a good job keeping the college informed about the malfunctioning cooling towers.
He said an email was sent to employees at this college at 8:37 a.m. informing them about the malfunction and encouraging them to “move to a cooler location on campus for work or class.”
A second email was sent to employees at 9:10 a.m. informing them that air conditioning systems were running again throughout the campus.
Ortega said after the system was repaired, buildings still needed time to cool down.
“It does take time,” he said.
Ortega said he is hopeful the buildings will be back to their normal temperature by Tuesday morning.
Zeigler commended professors for being creative and flexible.
The National Weather Service forecast for today predicted a high of 98 degrees with a heat index of 104 for San Antonio.
Students waiting for a class to begin chose to remain outside rather than in hallways.
Physical therapy sophomore Charlie Villarreal was waiting outside the chemistry and geology building as the building was beginning to cool off.
She said she was dismissed earlier from a business administration class because she is seven months pregnant.
Many classes moved outdoors and conducted lessons and drawing projects in the shade of trees.
In a Facebook post, a professor directed students to a nearby Starbucks on San Pedro Avenue for wireless Internet and air conditioning.