PAULS VALLEY, Okla. – Things have been heating up for Pauls Valley Jr. High, whose air conditioning hasn’t worked properly in years.
“We’ve had to relocate. Obviously, you can’t really teach in those temperatures,” said teacher Amanda Cumming.
They may look like ordinary classrooms, but take one step inside and you’ll feel something is wrong.
“As you see when you walk in here, it’s quite a bit warmer,” said Mike Martin, Pauls Valley Schools superintendent.
Some rooms may be 65-70 degrees in temperature, while others spiking over 80.
Martin said it’s something they’ve been dealing with for years.
“We have a geothermal system that basically wasn’t installed properly 17 years ago,” he said.
The temperatures have caused classes to be moved or held in the auditorium.
“Because we’ve done it for a number of years now, we’ve just kind of adapted,” Cummings said. “It’s challenging, but we make sure the kids are comfortable and the teachers are comfortable.”
The school is now working to install a cooling tower, designed to make their current air system work like it should. But, it’s costing a pretty penny at $275,000.
“Due to the recent increase in state funding this year, we’ve chosen to pay for the out of our general fund,” Martin said. “We’ve tried other things that haven’t worked. We feel like this will finally fix our issue.”
The new system is expected to be installed and completed by mid-September.
In the meantime, classes will be moved around depending on the temperatures of the rooms.
The school will also be using portable coolers where needed.