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Schools Struggle With Heat
A lot of people are hoping that this week's 90 degree weather is about to break, especially those who are sweating their way through it without air conditioning.
The situation is especially tough for staff and students in schools across the Tri-State who spend the day in school buildings without a-c.
Local 12 News Reporter Rich Jaffe says for Southwest Local Schools..."surviving the sweat" is all about getting creative.
For Sandy Hollstegge's 4th grade class, the learning process is all about learning how to deal with the heat.
Sandy Hollstegge, 4th Grade Teacher:
"It's virtually impossible to learn math and we're sticking to the pages of the math book, sticking to the writing. We take drinks as often as we can, try to keep it cool, but it's rough."
Like many of the second floor classrooms at Whitewater Valley Elementary, Sandy's class only has two small windows, so it's all about the fans. With no air conditioning in the school, some of the classrooms here have as many as 10 fans trying to move the hot air around.
Teachers, parents and PTA also provide lots of Popsicles to help the kids cool off. This place even makes reporters sweat.
Chris Brown, Southwest Local Superintendent:
"Every building has at least one air conditioned spot where kids can go during the day. Try to rotate the classes in and out of there, give the kids a break. We also provide water, Popsicles as you saw...great support from our PTA....things like that, but the bottom line is it's hot...until the weather breaks it's a struggle."
The only area in the building that has air conditioning is the office, and that makes going to see the principal more treat than threat. The threat of security concerns also means that doors can no longer be propped open to try and catch an unlikely breeze. None of the 4 elementary schools or the junior high here have ac.
"It's your school system, how do you fix it?"
"The fix is we need new buildings. This is our newest elementary built in 1989, we've got buildings that date back to the 1920's. We have buildings with one or two outlets in every room and with that you can't have 7 or 8 fans running, you can't run computers, can't run technology, same time you're trying to cool the building...we need air conditioning."
The school year here in Southwest Local actually started a week late in the hopes of beating the heat. They just hope this week the heat doesn't beat them.
School officials in Southwest say they hope to use this year to educate their residents and voters about just how much they need some new buildings and possibly float a levy next November. They say if they got the money, Harrison Elementary, built in the 1920's, would be the first building to be replaced.