Crews Work to Fix Twin Rivers Schools’ Heating Problems

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Across 17 schools in the Twin Rivers Unified School District, 29 classrooms were without heat Tuesday.

The problem continued to grow as part of Madison Elementary School was today without heat Wednesday.

Crews were dispatched out to Madison to diagnose and fix the problem. There, only the fourth grade class was impacted.

“We offered space heaters and it wasn’t needed. There were no complaints,” Principal Karen Snyder said.

But at other schools, the same can’t be said, as some children had to wear blankets to keep warm. The district says the problem got this bad from a lack of maintenance, when 72 employees were laid off.

“It was definitely harder. All of our campuses. I think we would honestly say we weren’t as well taken care of as we are know we are now,” Snyder said.

“I don’t see what the holdup will be on having funding for the kids. They are required to go to school. Why aren’t they warm when we leave them here?” parent Robin Sawier said.

The new superintendent Dr. Steve Martinez agreed with frustrated parents. When he took office six months ago, one of his first priorities was fixing this problem. Since then, the system has hired 10 new maintenance workers and they are hiring 13 more.

“When you have routine maintenance, that minimizes a lot of these issues,” Martinez said.

At Madison, the loss of heat occurred due to a bad breaker panel. The heat should be back Thursday. Twin Rivers has also budgeted $1 million more a year for maintenance, so problems like this don’t continue to happen.

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