Fluctuating classroom temperatures affect students, staff


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While completing their molarity assignment in Mr. Friel’s class, students dress warmly in sweatshirts and winter jackets.

Juliana Laccheo and Anna Faralli

For the past year, students and staff have noticed the school’s heating and air conditioning system has not been working properly. This has caused distractions and discomfort for everyone in the building.

According to principal Jeff Legan, the district’s aware of the issue and school officials are trying to fix it. He said, “I will never say it is going to be 100% perfect, but I can tell you on the 9-10 side right now, they are in the process of putting in all new units. So I’m hoping that it’s done before the end of the school year, but to be realistic, it is going to be done over the summer, so it won’t be ready until next school year.”

The heating and air conditioning problem was supposed to be fixed before the winter, but Legan says the school’s doing its best to fix it. Legan said, “Really it has everything to do with supply and demand right now and just how long it’s taking to get parts and everything else.”

Depending on the temperature outside and what part of the school, it could be 80 degrees one day and 50 the next. To solve this problem, Legan said, “We have box fans that we are bringing in classrooms, and honestly we will purchase the fans and bring them in the classrooms. I know that’s not ideal, but it’s just something that we have to do right now to get through the rest of the year.”

Throughout the day, Legan says there have been many complaints from teachers and students about the fluctuating temperatures throughout the school. Legan said, “I get it often. I can’t quantify it. I don’t know the number off the top of my head, but I mean I get it quite often, especially on extreme days like when it’s really cold outside or really warm.”

Legan says the issue “hands down” affects students most of all. “I mean no doubt, you guys have to go from class to class and endure whatever it is that’s going on in your classroom and you have no control over it,” Legan said.

Sophomore Zane Johnson is bothered by the fluctuating temperatures and says it’s an annoyance for her peers, too. “My English class and the old dance studio where my aerobics class takes place, it is very hot and doesn’t seem to have a regular air conditioner, so it’s very difficult to perform in that class with it being so hot,” Johnson said.

To be comfortable throughout the day, Johnson said dressing in layers becomes the norm. Johnson said, “If it gets too hot I will take my sweatshirt off and if it gets too cold I put my sweatshirt back on.”

English teacher Sharon McDermott teaches in the 11-12 Building and says the varied temperatures are tough on the staff, too. She said, “The biggest conflict would probably be stress, frustration, not able to work in that environment, and now that it’s going to get warmer, I think it is going to get very hot in the classroom versus when it get colder it’s going to get very cold.”

With classes being 90 minutes this year, McDermott says she would try to make the situation more tolerable for her students. “If it’s too hot, sometimes we go out into the Senior Commons areas, but if it’s too crowded with other classes, we just have to maintain our class in the classroom. If it’s too cold, I have a personal heater, [so] I try to help out the room that way.”

While many people have complained, McDermott admits she’s grateful to the custodians for doing all they can to fix the problem. McDermott said, “I think our custodians work a lot, they work overtime. I think they are trying to adjust all the classrooms, [and] I’m sure it’s extremely hard too and I know they are trying to figure out the problem as best as they can.”