WKU’s hours could change this summer

Katherine Wade

WKU is considering changing its summer operating hours to 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. to save on air conditioning costs. In previous summers, the university has stayed open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

John Osborne, vice president of Campus Services and Facilities, said the university plans to make an official announcement within the next week.

President Gary Ransdell said the new schedule has not been announced because officials are still collecting feedback.

“We’ve run the numbers and studied the data, and the highest concentrated use and peak hours of billing for energy … is the mid-to-late afternoon hours during the late summer,” he said.

WKU Sustainability Coordinator Christian Ryan-Downing said during the hottest hours of the day, everybody is running their air conditioning. The utility company responds by raising prices during those hours, which makes it more expensive for the university to cool buildings.

Osborne said changing the rates gives people an incentive to keep the overall demand for air conditioning down during that period of day. He said the rates are higher during the week from 1-7 p.m.

Ransdell said the plan is to blast all the chillers in the morning and then shut everything off in the afternoon.

“If we do that each day, we think we can save a lot of money on energy costs,” he said.

Ryan-Downing said this is an energy-conservation-and-efficiency measure.

“We are reducing our carbon footprint and saving money,” she said. “That in itself is a good thing, and certainly part of our plan to save energy.”

Ransdell said although the change was planned mostly for energy-consumption reasons and sustainability reasons, it will also benefit people in other ways.

“It will be pretty neat for employees, too, during the summer to have a few extra hours during the day,” he said.

Ransdell said the change won’t affect summer camps and other on-campus activities but, rather, academic buildings.

Bowling Green sophomore Drew Mitchell, who will be working in the Honors Center over summer break, said he’d be fine with the change.

“Right now I get to work at 7:45, so getting there a little earlier wouldn’t affect me,” Mitchell said. “I think I’d enjoy getting off at 3. And as far as saving money for the university, I’m all for that.”