A/C Trouble For Local School System

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Morgan County (WVLT) It was so hot today that one entire East Tennessee school district closed their doors early.

The Morgan County school district closed at 1 pm.

And what may be the worst part, tomorrow and Thursday will be even hotter.

Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb has more.

There's no word on if school is out tomorrow.

But its starting to look like the systems 3,600 students could have a few more shorter days.

School officials already had plans to replace all the systems air conditioning units but they won't begin arriving for a month.

So officials say they are going to have to sweat this one out.

School kids left Coalfield and other Morgan County schools at 1 p-m, saying there was little difference in the temperature inside the classroom and outside.

Megan Jackson, a student says, "Summer is supposed to be when there's no school. It feels like Summer came to school with us."

Lindsey agrees, "It's been very hard to concentrate with all the noise and the fans going."

Brandy West, a student says, "It feels like I'm at the beach. It's pretty hot."

Some parents say letting the kids out was the right move.

Terri Shillings, came to pick up her child and says, "I don't want them to stay in the heat in school because I know they don't have any air conditioning and it's burning up in the classrooms."

While others question why the schools are having problems.

Laura Ledford says, "I thought they worked the air conditioning units over the summer, but apparently they didn't."

School officials say they've known the many old units would eventually fail.

$6.5 million dollars has been allocated to replace the system's units, but they won't begin arriving until fall.

Mike Davis, the Morgan County School Superintendent says, "Those that can be repaired, we're doing that to keep them online if it's a short period of time, but there are several that we can do nothing with."

Davis says they are doing what they can, dealing with the worst, first.

"The place, Coalfield, Oakdale and Sunbright schools are the three schools with the oldest equipment where we're having the most trouble."

Davis adds even his office is not immune to the a/c problems.

"It's kind of warm in here as well. We're working on that air conditioner, but I think I'm the last one on the list."

Students are being encouraged to bring drinks to class.

School officials say the decision to cut the school day, is day to day.

They plan to make that decision each day around 11 a-m.

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  • by confused parent Location: Coalfield on Aug 15, 2007 at 09:03 AM
    I have one child that attends Coalfield High School. Several a/c units were out at the end of the last school year. Why weren't there plans to repair or replace them over the summer? Also, Coalfield school opened without a principle and two high school English teachers. The school system and board knew in May that a principle would need to be hired and over the summer that the two high school teachers would need to replaced as well. One man was hired as principle, but quit just one day before the beginning of school. Several qualified individuals have applied and had been interviewed over the summer months for the principle position, but the board didn't want someone from within our general area. The school board and central office didn't have a hard time replacing a principle at Sunbright earlier this year, nor a principle at Central elementary with someone from within their community.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 14, 2007 at 04:42 PM
    you do realise the contractors will be at this school in 2 weeks to replace the 24yr old systems also not mentioned is the air quality is at 95% and this school also had 5 extreamly large rooftop ac units canged outlast yr. so please work with us not aganst us let the contractors and engineers do the job correct besides whyspend a lot of money on repairs to these ac units only to place them in the scrapyard in 2 weeks makes no sense to waste the money
  • by concerned Location: O.S TN on Aug 14, 2007 at 02:04 PM
    I have 2 sisters that go to Coalfield. They've not had a/c since the start of school.....and the a/c is the least of their worries....the high school from my understanding has no English teachers and they have no principal....but this was on 8/8/07....things may have changed. I think they should be a little concerned with that as well not just the heat!!!!


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