Parents, students steamed after AC breaks in brand new school

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Some concerned parents and workers at Richmond's brand new MLK Middle said they were shocked when the schools air conditioner broke on what was one of the hottest days of the year. The school has only been open a little more than four months.

Students, like 8th grader Amari Young-El, said teacher allowed them to open classroom windows, however that did not cool off the rooms too much.

"I believe it’s unacceptable," MLK parent Mecca White said. "It can affect one’s ability to work to their fullest potential. If you are hot then it’s a distraction. If you are not comfortable, it’s a distraction.”

Monday's high temperature was 90 degrees. On Tuesday, temperatures hit 94 degrees.

Frustrated school workers and parents called CBS 6 News to investigate the problem.

A Richmond Public Schools spokesperson confirmed the school's HVAC had issues.

"The HVAC system at Martin Luther King Jr. shut down due to a communication issue within the HVAC system," Cletisha Lovelace wrote in a statement. "The district's Facility Services department began working on the problem yesterday and had the system up and running this morning [Tuesday]. We expect work to continue tomorrow [Wednesday] to ensure the system is fully operational."

Lovelace said the HVAC unit is under warranty and the school system did not have to pay for repairs.

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    • Batman

      It is a brand new school that didn’t get funded and built by itself genius. The mayor or city council never said a ball park was more important that education. Take your head out of your arse.

      • athynz

        So now you are “Batman”? Okay genius take a look at what your mayor and council are funding – the ball park is taking precedence with the majority of the funding. Jones refuses to see any other alternatives including one that would have cost the city 7.5 million as opposed to the 80+ million being proposed for the ball park. The schools are getting around 6 million in comparison. Who is it that needs a cranial-rectal removal “Batman”? You ever hear the phrase “actions speak louder than words”? This is a prime example of how their action are speaking and those actions are saying the ball park is far more important than education. Does that help clear things up for you now?

  • Gale Bowles Giegerich

    I know that a broken AC is a pain in the butt, however, it’s certainly not as big a deal as this news story makes it out to be. The kids and teachers were hot for a while. What’s the big deal/story here? America is truly falling apart when a broken AC is big news and the people affected can’t just deal with it for a short while. So sad!

    • Christy

      It’s sad that you think it’s okay that these kids who are taking SOL tests and teachers and staff who are trying to teach these kids are expected to “just deal with it”. I work here and the heat was unbearable! Monday they even had the heat on! So you tell me that you can go to work for 3 days, including this past Friday, with the heat pumping out on 90°+ days and tell me that you’re okay with just dealing with it. Not sure if you know this or not but this school is full of huge windows that heat up this school a lot with just the sunlight, therefore it was about (if not more than) 100° inside of this building. It’s a brand new school… Before the new school we had to “deal with it” for MONTHS because people would say it was resolved and it never got fixed until someone went to the news about it… so yes, we have EVERY right to complain

      • Gale Bowles Giegerich

        I never said you didn’t have the right to complain. But to make it a big news story is just goofy. It’s a broken AC not a world war. Everything that happens to everyone today seems to be such a big deal. There are big things happening all the time but I disagree that a broken AC is one of them. And, it wasn’t forever, just for a few days.

    • athynz

      Gale the next 90 degree day we have turn off the AC in your house and keep ALL of the windows closed and try to teach yourself something or do something that requires more than just a bit of concentration. Then tell us how it’s not a “big deal”. Couple that with the fact that this is a new building and new AC unit…

  • shanienee

    When I was in school, we didn’t have central air. We opened the windows. Kids are spoiled. I ride from work with the windows down, not in the ac.

    • athynz

      Most schools built since the early to mid ’80s do not have windows that can open. See my reply to Gale’s first post here and do the same thing I suggested to her – and in fact make sure you take a drive with no AC and the windows up and tell us how it’s not a big deal.

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