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Front doors to the Institute old, cold, and controlled

Many a day has passed when pedestrians walking up the steps to Lobby 7 have encountered an “Out of Order” sign at one of the three entrance doors. The doors, some of the most-used on campus, have been under repair six times this academic year, according to Manager of Repair and Maintenance Kevin Connolly. In two of the instances, the doors were under repair for two and three weeks, while the other four instances were same-day repairs.

As the doors are about as old as the 73-year-old Rogers Building itself (which contains Lobby 7), parts can often take time to find. In the first instance of long-term repair, Connolly said it took two weeks to get a new motor, while the other time, it took three weeks to get a new step pad. “Parts are not readily available,” said Connolly in an email, adding that additional step pads were also purchased to avoid future delays in repairs.

Repairs were not the only reason for the closure of the doors, however. During the wintertime, the doors are sometimes closed to save energy. The delay in the closing of the automatic doors often means that warm air leaks outside and Lobby 7 is quickly cooled by the incoming cold air. The manual doors, on the other hand, close right after a person passes through, so “for reasons of comfort and energy saving we will shut down the automatic doors,” said Connolly. As part of the energy-saving measures, over the past few years, the Institute has also encouraged students to use the many revolving doors across campus, which let out less air than manual doors.

—Bruno B. F. Faviero