JAMESTOWN, N.C. (WGHP) — Hundreds of Jamestown Middle School students were sent home after their school’s air conditioning failed and classroom temperatures reached above 90 degrees according to some students.
“He called me this morning and said, Mimi, it’s so hot here I can’t stand it,” said Connie Draper, a grandparent picking up her middle schooler. “Mimi, he said, it’s 92 degrees in here I’m burning up.”
Scorching heat, old air condition systems overloaded, and no enough money in the budget to replace them.
Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras admitted Thursday morning there is a problem.
The maintenance team is currently looking at 540 work orders for HVAC issues in buildings.
“This is a very high number for us,” Contreras said.
There are 44 buildings across the Guilford County school system with HVAC issues.
“When most of the building reaches 85 degrees, and we know we cannot reverse that, we cannot repair that, we do close school buildings, and we’re going to see that until the heat breaks,” Contreras said.
It was too much at Jamestown Middle School on Thursday. Just hours after the day started kids were told to leave campus.
“The students are trying to learn in these buildings, some of them with asthma and other preexisting conditions, and it’s just very, very difficult for them,” Contreras said. “I’m thankful for the sacrifices of teachers and students, but we can’t ask them to endure this.”
Clyde Hargraves’ daughter has been complaining about the heat for several days.
“I didn’t pay too much attention to it,” Hargraves said. “Today, she texted me one of her teachers had told her to let us know to call about the A/C, so I guess it got worse.”
“I want to know how long this was,” Latasha Green said. “Was this since the beginning of the week? We’re four days in school and they don’t have air.”
The heat combined with COVID concerns has parents a bit more worried.
“You don’t want your kids in there and there’s not a lot of circulation,” Hargraves said.
District leaders expect the problem to be fixed by Thursday night.
If it’s not, they’ll utilize the virtual learning platform Guilford County has until they can get back inside the building.