Students at a Dallas middle school started their first week of classes in sweltering indoor temperatures, as the school’s air conditioning system was still broken after weeks of repairs, the Dallas Morning News reported.
According to the paper, some classrooms at Francisco F. Medrano Middle School are completely without working air conditioning. Others classrooms having to be re-cooled in the mornings after work is done on the cooling system at night. The cooling system itself is an eco-friendly geothermal well, approved in a 2008 Dallas ISD bond plan.
With the geothermal well leaking, district officials thought the repairs could be done by last Monday. Parents said they not were informed of the ongoing issues ahead of time, and instead had to hear from their kids that they were going to school without a basic amenity in the heat of the Texas summer. Still, Miguel Solis, a school board member, told the Morning News, “The kids are doing fine, but it’s clear to them that this is not how school is supposed to start.”
Solis, who visited the school Thursday, said temperatures “felt” like mid-80s or higher in the school. However, the Morning News cited social media posts claiming temperatures inside the school were into the the 90s. In order to curb the heat, the district brought in 120 portable air conditioning units and have provided students with water bottles, popsicles, and ice cream. Meanwhile, Dallas temperatures hitting a high of 99 degrees on Thursday and 96 degrees today.
“They should have been prepared to take in the kids,” Marisela Meléndez, a parent, told KUVN-DT. “Inside it gets bad because of the heat.”
On Thursday, students took home a note telling parents that students could dress more comfortably for the heat. And over the weekend, crews will be working to fix the cooling system. Come Saturday, Solis told the Morning News, the district should know what measures they’ll be taking to prepare for the next week of school. However, that is something they probably should have figured out last weekend, before kids were subjected to this heat in the first place.