Sequatchie County High School students are being told to layer up.

Part of the school has no heat.

Director of Schools Pete Swafford says this isn't new. He says the school system has dealt with the problem for the past 40 years.

Swafford spent part of his morning Thursday measuring the temperature throughout the high school with an infrared thermometer.

“The mid-60s is the lowest temperature that we have,” Swafford said.

Swafford says 14 classrooms make up an older portion of the school that is without heat. Three of those classrooms have an average temperature of 60 degrees.

“I don't think it is unbearable. We have had some calls about it, but that's essentially what it is.”
Swafford says switching from air to heat is not a simple task. Once the switch is made, switching back is not easy.

“You just have to pick a day and decide when you're switching from air to heat,” Swafford explained. “You can't do both at the same time in that one section of the building.”

When the switch happens, no heat or air will be available for up to eight hours. Swafford says they go through the adjustment twice every year.

“You have to pick a day when you think there will be no more warm weather and the cold weather is here, and you have to do the same thing in the spring when you think the cold weather is over and the warm weather is here.”

Swafford says a permanent fix would be costly and is not likely anytime soon, but he wants to reassure parents who may be concerned.

“We are not knowingly going to do anything that is going to endanger your child. Your child's safety is our first concern. It is. It has been. It will be,” Swafford said.

Channel 3 reached out to Swafford after we heard from concerned parents

Swafford said they will be switching from air to heat on Monday. That decision was made previously in conjunction with the forecast. He says by Tuesday the older part of the building will be warm.