LRC Patio Going Smoke-Free

The patio outside the Starbucks Lounge at the Learning Resources Center is being designated a no-smoking zone in response to complaints of smoke being pulled into the building through the air intakes located along the exterior wall. Signs reflecting the change will be posted on the patio and on the doors leading outside. The smoking receptacles will be removed.

“With the steep grade leading up to the satellite dishes and sidewalk behind the building, the patio is essentially shaped like a bowl,” said Mike Bath (Public Safety). “Even with the ‘no smoking within 30 feet’ policy, when predominantly west-northwest winds kick up, there’s really nowhere else for the smoke to go except in the opposite direction toward the air intakes. And when the systems are on, the air is pulled into the building.”

NMU previously encountered a similar issue at Jamrich Hall, where people were lighting up beneath the canopy to stay warm and dry. The metal grates they were standing on siphoned the smoky air into Jamrich.

“We were able to alleviate that problem through engineering by adding block barriers that prevented people from getting into these areas,” Bath said. “We can’t do that at the LRC because the intakes are right along the wall. We’re not responding to an isolated complaint. There have been several from people who work in the affected areas.”

The unique layout of the LRC patio has made it the first outdoor area on campus where smoking is prohibited entirely, not only within a specified distance. Elsewhere, smoking is prohibited within 30 feet of a building entrance.



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Updated: December 16, 2011

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