Students at Modesto elementary school living with inefficient AC in sweltering heat

Orchard Elementary School student Lyndsey Miller has had it with the heat.

Orchard Elementary School student Lyndsey Miller has had it with the heat.

“Every day I come home with my shirt soaking wet," she says.

And that's in the classroom.

Lyndsey's class along with six other classrooms at this Modesto school are trying to get by with an AC system over 20 years old and dying fast.

“It’s really hot and can’t really focus that well," says student Lee Facey.

“They’ve been trying to fix the air conditioning for a long time. But it is still hot every day in the classrooms," says Carrie Miller, a parent at the school.

The answer of course to solving the problem is a new AC system. The big problem to replace it is the cost.

The lowest bid in June came in at $3 million which was $1 million over budget. It would take several months to complete.

“We had our money set aside. The board had directed staff. We were ready to go at the beginning of the year," says Debra Hendricks, superintendent for the Sylvan Union School District.

She says the district has been planning for a new AC system for over a year, but was caught off guard with the quickly rising costs.

“So currently the board is working and will have a special board meeting next week to determine how they are going to get the extra financing to put the new unit in.”

Cynthia Facey is on the school’s PTA. She says the school is doing all it can in a heated situation.

“We went to the board last night. They were very sympathetic to us. They came out today and they’re fixing things to get it going for now," says Facey.

“They’ve put in cooling systems to try and cool down the coils. We’ve brought in extra fans to put them by the vents. The systems are up and running. They’re just not efficient," added superintendent Debra Hendricks, who says AC crews have been working on the school's old system every day.

Not all of the students have to bear the heat. 17 classrooms are staying cool in the K-5 school.

But, it will be several months before the school district can find the money necessary and have a system in place.

Until then, students like Lindsey Miller will have to live with the heat until mother nature decides to cool down.

“My parents thought I was going to get heat stroke. Did you get heat stroke? No. Thankfully not!," said Lindsey when asked by a reporter.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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