NEW HAVEN — Students at New Haven Elementary School have a “very good chance” of returning to class Monday after being out for nearly three days, according to Mason County Superintendent of Schools Jack Cullen.
Children and staff members at the Bend Area school were sent home Wednesday at noon, after issues arose with the air conditioning units and the majority of the classrooms became too warm for comfort. Students and staff remained out on Thursday, and while children were out again on Friday, teachers and staff reported to work.
Cullen said the air conditioning units at New Haven have age on them. Four units were malfunctioning. Two were found to be motor issues, with the remaining two being control panel problems.
The superintendent continued that new motors were received Friday for two of the units. The control panels on the other two have been bypassed to allow them to work until a permanent solution is addressed.
Cullen said with the recent heat and humidity, air conditioners at all county schools have been constantly running. This has caused minor problems at several schools. He stated when only a few classrooms are affected, arrangements can made within the school to move students to cooler areas.
That was not the case for New Haven, however. The superintendent said about 20 classrooms were affected, making it impossible to move students within the school.
“It’s been a bit of a struggle,” Cullen said, “but the techs have been working hard up there.”
He said three rooms at Hannan High School are without air conditioning and a curb adapter had to be physically manufactured to repair the unit. A crane is expected at the school Wednesday to lift the adapter to the rooftop, and workers will then fix the unit.
Among the other schools having recent issues were Ashton and Leon elementary schools, and the office area at Point Pleasant High School.
Cullen said the good news is the county has received funding from the state School Building Authority to replace air conditioning units at several schools this fall. They will include 29 wall units at a Point Pleasant elementary school, five rooftop units at Hannan, two rooftop units at Roosevelt Elementary, and seven rooftop units at New Haven Elementary. The funding will cover 80 percent of the total replacement cost, the superintendent concluded.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.