No air conditioning in five G.P. schools

Grants Pass, Ore., — “We absolutely would love to have new h-vac units in every one of our schools.”

Five schools in the Grants Pass School District don’t have air conditioning.

With temperatures rising in to the high 90’s, the school district says it’s doing everything it can to keep their kids safe.

“First thing in the morning when it’s nice and cool they open up the building, so they have all the windows open, and then we have fans in each of the classrooms.” said Business Director, Sherry Ely.

The three elementary schools and two middle schools – North and South Middle Schools, Allendale, Riverside and Highland Elementary Schools – were built before air conditioning was around.

And it’s not that the school district doesn’t want to put AC in, there just isn’t enough room in the budget.

“It is probably about 800 thousand per elementary school to go through and actually renovate for an h-vac system and so that’s a lot of funding.” said Ely.

The schools can’t handle window, or free standing AC units either.

“We don’t have enough capacity at our schools to handle that extra electrical load, and until we can do some kind of renovation, we’d have to put in new electrical wiring, new electrical panels.”

While it is concerning to one South Middle School grandma, she says she went to school without air conditioning and did just fine!

“Our buildings were two story, and so in the hotter weather we just usually went to the first story, activity areas and things like that if it got real hot. If it was exceedingly hot then they closed the school.” said Susan Hoover.

Though she would prefer her grand kids to have air conditioning.

“If it gets too hot you’d want some way to cool in there, so I think it’s important to keep the kids comfortable.” said Hoover.

The school district says it is working on a bond to try and raise funds for the renovations.

It plans to have the bond on the November ballot.

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