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District 2 looks to address overheated classrooms

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 11:30 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 11:40 p.m. CDT

RICHMOND – Kids and teachers in 12 Richmond Grade School and Spring Grove Elementary classrooms may get some relief from the heat this summer.

The School District 2 Board reached a tentative agreement to install window units in the classrooms that have consistently hit temperatures as high as 91 degrees.

“I’ve sat in those rooms, and it takes your breath away,” board member Mindy Ross said.

The board will vote on the proposal at its next meeting after members have time to mull over the information and cost estimates presented Wednesday evening.

The total cost to upgrade the electrical system and purchase the units is estimated at $3,500 on average per classroom, Superintendent Dan Oest said.

District staff still is trying to assess what the electricity costs would be for the district, but those depend on how many days the units are turned on, Oest said, adding that the window units are probably the “least efficient way compared to a larger unit that cooled a larger area.”

The project would take about three weeks, Oest said, adding that it would make sense to get the electrical improvements out of the way during spring break so that the units can be installed by district staff at a later date.

The fix doesn’t address the rest of the classrooms, including the classroom Liz Young’s son is in, she said. There were days his class had to be pulled out of its room and moved to cooler areas.

The board shouldn’t wait for more data on the other classrooms before addressing them too, said Nancy Webb, who has two girls at Spring Grove Elementary.

“I don’t know why you keep pushing it and pushing it and pushing it,” she said. “You can go ask the students. You can go ask the teachers. You can ask the parents that are there every week.”

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