(December 7, 2011)

Boiler Failure Means Cold Buildings, Community Blanket Drive

SHREVEPORT, LA — The failure of a boiler providing heat to five campus buildings has spurred Big Chill 2011, an initiative to bring the campus community together as well as provide help to those less fortunate in the community. The boiler failure affects the Hurley Music Building, Magale Library, Brown Memorial Chapel, Smith Building, and Mickle Hall of Science.


"With a cold front settling in and finals on their way, I can't imagine a worse time for this to happen," said President David Rowe. "Much will depend on the weather, but it is clearly a very dynamic situation. My main concern during this time is for the students, faculty, and staff members using the affected buildings from now through the holiday break."

As faculty, staff, and students came together to brainstorm ways to stay warm during the finals period, their thoughts turned to those less fortunate in the community, and an idea for a blanket drive was born. Today through December 16, new or gently used blankets are being accepted in the Smith Building Foyer anytime Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The blanket drive will benefit the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission.

"We thought about the many people in our community who will be without heat for the whole winter," said Rev. Valerie Robideaux, Director of Professional Discernment. "We decided this was an opportunity to think beyond our campus and our immediate inconveniences and remember those who really need our help."

The Centenary community is coming together to meet the challenges in creative ways. Several meeting spaces and unused classrooms have been converted to study space with computers and printers. The Cafeteria and several conference rooms on campus will be open after hours for study. Further, coffee stations will be available in the unheated buildings throughout the week.

Dr. Melva Turner Williams, Associate Dean of the College, is coordinating the campus-wide response to minimize disruptions and adapt resources as needed. Updated information is available at www.centenary.edu/bigchill. For more information, contact email or Dr. Williams at 318.869.5142.