Although it’s the second-oldest college in America, the College of William & Mary boasts the oldest college building in the United States, the Sir Christopher Wren Building, which was built in 1695 before the founding of nearby Williamsburg, VA. Now fast-forward to the 1960s, when the college expanded to accommodate Baby Boom students. That’s when Yates Hall was constructed, with 10 halls divided between three floors and a basement to house 266 freshmen. Today, the dormitory is also used for summer camps, which required the college to deal with an age-old problem: humidity.
“Humidity is a major issue in Williamsburg during the summer,” says Mark Ballman, mechanical project manager in the college’s Department of Facilities Management. “We’re located between the James and York rivers and just a few miles from the Chesapeake Bay. In Yates Hall, running the existing chilled water fancoil units didn’t deal with the high humidity. In fact, condensation and mold were beginning to appear on the ceilings.”