School without air conditioning during heat wave

Mrs. Valencia's second grade classroom at the 24th Street School in Los Angeles was not a very pleasant place to be this week, not at all. No reflection on her, it's just that the old air conditioning unit that was added to the old classroom back in 1987 has finally given out, and her room was at least 90 degrees.

Not to worry, the students were moved into another classroom where the old a/c units were still functioning and LAUSD maintenance workers were on the job today in Room 28 as the news media was invited to observe and record.

We were there because this school was hardly the only one with a problem. In fact, due to the recent heat wave there have been almost 500 calls for service per day, and a backlog of some 2600 service calls. For once, the issue doesn't seem to be money, the District's facilities person Roger Finstad told me there are hundreds of millions of dollars for both replacing and repairing equipment like the old unit in Mrs. Valencia's room, it just takes time to get to them, even with extra hires and outside contractors helping.

Of course when the heat wave ends, or if the heat wave ends, the backlog will be reduced significantly, but right now it's a scramble. The District Facilities Public Relations Reps said they're consistently answering 200 service calls a day, and the maintenance teams are most appreciated.

Principal Mary Ann Sullivan says of the heat '' kids can't focus on tasks, they can't focus on the text.'' Fifth grader Datrion Bland, who fortunately for him wasn't in the affected class but still feels the heat so to speak put it very well when he said '' By the time I get home I just want to take a bath or something. ''Datrion my friend, you are not alone.

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