OKCPS Maintenance Crews Fix AC Problems To Keep Students Cool

Tuesday, August 2nd 2011, 8:18 pm
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9 and News9.com

OKLAHOMA CITY -- It is shaping up to be one of the hottest weeks of the summer and some metro kids are spending it in classrooms with no air conditioning. Maintenance crews have been out since about 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, trying to fix the broken AC units.

The Oklahoma City Public School district says crews are busy right now trying to fix more than one hundred broken AC units.

Bob Servi, the District's Director of Maintenance says a good unit should keep a classroom 25 to 30 degrees lower than the outside temps.

The district's maintenance director says it's hard to keep an accurate count on the number of AC related issues.

One crew had to work on the roof of Capitol Hill high school on Tuesday.

They were there for about 30 minutes. The problems were minor, a broken thermostat and several units needed more Freon.

The district has a lot of aging units, anywhere from 15 to 20 years old, and they are wearing out.

The schools are not cooling down enough. So the AC units are working overtime. The district is running the air 24-7. However Servi says they are pushing the limits on comfort in the classrooms because of the extreme heat.

"Something else people may not realize, if you can get a 25 to 30 degree differential from the outside temperature to inside that's good. But if you are at 109 degrees your still close to 80 inside," Servi says.

Servi also says the schools are not made to withstand day after day of extreme heat. The brick traps the heat inside, so it takes longer for the schools to cool down at night.

Check out the American Red Cross's Heat Wave Safety Checklist.

08/01/2011 Related Story: OKCPS Respond To First Day Of Continuous Learning Calendar In Extreme Heat.

08/01/2011 Related Story: Heat, School Zones Concerns As OKC Students Head Back To School.

07/31/2011 Related Story: Keeping Cool As Thousands Of OKC Kids Head Back To School.