1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Winter campus shutdown serves as a sustainability initiative for Transylvania

Old Morrison steps decorated for the holidays

Transylvania University’s campus will be closed for winter break beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, with regular office hours resuming Tuesday, Jan. 2. Some offices are utilizing planned floating holidays and will be closed additional days prior to Dec. 21.

According to Alison Begor, associate vice president of human resources, “The purpose of this break is to provide employees with substantial time away from their regular work duties so they might relax and rejuvenate.”

The break also provides “a near‑complete shutdown of the campus for energy conservation and utility savings,” said Danny Knox, director of facilities management.

Shutdown procedures include closing and locking all windows and adjusting blinds to prevent energy loss, unplugging all appliances, turning off all lights and setting thermostats to their lowest heating setting, typically 55 degrees.

Facilities advises that any employee who has to work on campus during the winter break limits their on-campus hours and utility usage. Thermostats should be returned to 55 degrees once occupants depart. 

Facilities management will monitor the weather in the weeks prior to and every day during the shutdown, and the systems will be adjusted as required to respond to any extreme temperatures.

Over the past 13 years, the university has saved nearly $1.5 million in utility costs through this initiative. With a bit of cooperation and planning, Transylvania will once again be able to take steps toward sustainability through its winter shutdown.