Steamy start for school in Mercedes where air conditioning malfunctions
Wed, 29 Aug 2012 03:49:42 GMT —
Some 400 John F. Kennedy Elementary students get an impromptu lesson on the importance of keeping cool, as the Mercedes school battles air conditioning problems for the second day.
Brenda Mata teaches 6th grade math.
"If I had a student that was feeling a little bit too hot I would send them to the restroom and have them wash their face with cold water and that way they could come back into class," she said.
Brand new a/c units at the building, still under construction following years of mold, malfunctioned before the first day of school, according to Superintendent Dr. Daniel Trevino Jr.
"We occupied the building for 2-and-a-half to 3 hours and then we relocated the students to an auditorium," he explained.
By the start of the second day on Tuesday, nearly 2 dozen fans are put in place to keep the air in the hallway and classrooms circulating.
The school reportedly received the green light from inspectors to occupy the classrooms with what little air is being pumped out of the units and then redirected there.
Temperatures in the hallways with no a/c reached into the low 80 TMs, according to staff.
The superintendent described the classrooms as being comfortable.
"I feel at no point was the safety of these students compromised," the superintendent said.
But some parents feel the school should have notified them about the ongoing problem.
"They should have put the parents on alert to tell them, 'Hey this is happening' or something you know," Rey Huerta whose granddaughter attends the school said. "But nothing."
Adelita Martell says she would have pulled her son out of class had she known about the problem.
"A [phone] call... That way I could come pick up my kid or at least know what's going on," she said.
They hope this will serve as a lesson for the school as well.
The superintendent says the district received very few phone calls from parents about the a/c problem which is expected to be fixed by the start of school on Wednesday.