Heating issues force closing of Cleveland City Schools on Wednesday
Heating issues at two Cleveland City schools forced the school district to close on Wednesday.
Director of Operations Hal Taylor told Channel 3, Cleveland High School had temporary trouble heating up on Wednesday morning. In addition, two classrooms at Arnold Memorial Elementary School were too cold for students because of a lack of heat and the freezing temperatures outside.
“By the time we brought extra heaters in this morning and by the time we would've started school we had those rooms up to 68 degrees. So we really don't see that being a problem for tomorrow morning,” said Taylor.
At the elementary school, the average classroom temperature in the winter is 68 to 70 degrees. Taylor says without heat, “they can get to the 50s in this kind of weather.”
Taylor explained that leaks were found in the school building’s heat exchanger within the water source heat pump nearly two weeks ago. The part needed to fix it has not come in yet.
“It is not something you can pick up at a normal store. It is industrial equipment,” Taylor explained. “It is not ancient equipment by any means. It is 12 years old so we should not be having this problem.”
But Principal Michael Chai says his students and staff have been making due for a while.
“Up until this morning it was not a huge concern because the rooms were not that cold. Students were coming into school with their jackets. Normally they're not needed in the building,” said Chai.
In the meantime, students and staff will depend on other ways to stay warm.
“We have some heaters that are placed in the rooms. We are able to get the temperature where they are supposed to be,” said Chai. “If it works out to where it's colder and we can't do that, we have some alternate locations in the building where we can locate those students. It shuffles things around a little bit, but it is not a problem to make sure our students are going to be comfortable.”
School officials say the goal is to have the heat fixed by next week.
Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.