Teachers, students dealing with no air-conditioning in some districts

Hot weather greets students for start of school

WYOMING, MICH. - Some parents are concerned about sending their children to school in the hot weather. They want to know why some of the classrooms in West Michigan aren't air conditioned.

That's the case at Godfrey Lee Middle and High schools in Wyoming. It's a building that serves 900 students, grades six through 12.

On Thursday, temperatures reached into the 80’s with humidity at 77 percent. Superintendent David Britten says it all has to do with older buildings and money.

At the middle/high school there are new windows that allow for better ventilation, but there is no central air conditioning. Britten says it would be too expensive.

He says the district is located in an area with low-property values. "A lot of it is rental property, most of the industry is gone. Property values are the fifth lowest in the state out of all districts. So, it's much more difficult for a mill to generate enough tax dollars to do sizeable construction projects."

The superintendent agreed, students would perform better with air-conditioning, but adds it would cost up to $1 million to install a new system and it would only be used for a few months of the year.

Other districts like Grand Rapids Public Schools are also dealing with buildings that have no air conditioning.

Executive Director of Communication, John Helmholdt, says it recently passed a bond issue. It includes money to install new heating and cooling systems in all its buildings.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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