Lindhurst High Going Without Air Conditioning

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OLIVEHURST --

Temperatures in Lindhurst High School classrooms are soaring this summer, and students may have to wait until next spring before they have air conditioning again.

"The average temperature is ranging between 82 and 84 degrees for most of the classrooms. It is not nearly adequately providing the air conditioning that it should be," said Lindhurst High School Principal Bob Eckardt.

Eckardt said the school district has been working with them to fix the aging system since this spring, but repairs did not hold up the way they expected.

"It had been having trouble, people would come out and fix it, and then kind of like your car you think you have it taken care of and then before you know it, it's not," Eckardt said.

"They're like, we'll get to it when we can, but it just keeps getting pushed off," student Veronica Hall said.

Hall told FOX40 one of her classes in building C hit 93 degrees, making it extremely hard to stay focused and study.

"Everybody's uncomfortable, you get a headache, dehydrated, you go home and just want tot take a nap, so your homework schedule is all messed up, everything's messed up. It just sucks," Hal said.

"Is it where we want it? No. But we're working on it," Eckardt said.

Eckardt said the fix will require replacing the entire air conditioning system in all the buildings at the school, which could cost the district $5 million. He says it will take time to replace because the job is extensive and will need to be done in phases.

Until then, the school has been passing out water bottles, plugging in space coolers, and controlling the climate with massive exhaust fans.

"The building really does have good air flow, and that makes a big difference. We can move about 18,000 cubic feet of air per minute," Eckardt said.

"But they output like, hot air, so it's like doing as much bad as good," Hall said.

It may be uncomfortable, but California's state education code does not set an upper threshold for classroom temperatures. National standards say 86 degrees is a reasonable high temperature for light work, but many studies suggest that high temperatures inside classrooms negatively impact student performance.

Eckardt said they take that into account. When it recently topped 100 degrees outside in Olivehurst, they cut classes off early.

"Instead of waiting and seeing how uncomfortable it could possibly get, we just called a minim day and released the kids at 1 o'clock, as a preventative measure," Eckardt said.

Students say they appreciate the preventative measures, but it is time for a permanent fix.

"Like, somebody's job is to fix this. We can't just keep sitting out here," Hall said.

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