The Larsen Student Union and Union Cafe are among the places affected by a campus-wide restriction on propane gas usage due to cold weather.

The Larsen Student Union and Union Cafe are among the places affected by a campus-wide restriction on propane gas usage due to cold weather.

By Joel Hoover

A shortage in propane gas supplies from the region’s recent cold weather has forced Messiah College to place restrictions on propane use for the remainder of this week. Room temperatures, the Larsen Student Union and Sollenberger Sports Center are among the areas affected by the conservation plan, which goes into effect tonight.

“Our supplier has reduced delivery levels to our campus and has not been able to completely fill our propane tanks,” said Kathie Shafer, Vice President for Operations, in an email to the college. “We are in ongoing communication with our propane vendor, and they are doing all that they can to meet our needs.”

According to the original email from Shafer, the changes and restrictions will be in place through 11 p.m. this Saturday.

Centrally-controlled room temperatures will be held at 68 degrees between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and will then drop to 60 degrees between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Employees are now being permitted to dress in appropriate casual wear to compensate for the temperature changes.

The Larsen Student Union’s hours will now be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with the 68-degree temperature hold in place. No hot foods will be offered, with the menu limited to salads, soups, deli, and grab-and-go foods.

Showers in the Sollenberger Sports Center will now be off-limits, with the wrestling team and visiting wrestlers for this weekend’s Mideast Regional tournament in Hitchcock the only exceptions. The swimming pool and diving pool in Sollenberger will both be closed.

Students and employees have been asked restrict hot showers to three minutes or less in order to limit use of hot water. The email also stressed to students and faculty that space heaters are not allowed in campus buildings due to the threat of fire.

Additionally, Climenhega Homestead Guest House will be taking no new reservations, and employees in the McBeth Advancement Center will be relocated during the conservation.

Messiah’s official Twitter account added further clarification on the reason for the propane shortage in two tweets sent out Tuesday afternoon:

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 4.59.31 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-24 at 4.59.38 PM


The college will be continuing to monitor the situation and give updates as needed.

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