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Students, staff looking to chill in Utah schools

Posted at 5:31 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 19:31:16-04

While scorching temperatures are being felt all over, students across Utah in schools that are a bit older might not be getting a break inside the classroom.

Several schools in the Davis School District don't have air conditioning in every class, and they're working through the heat wave to keep everyone cool.

"It's really hard for teachers to teach when it's stifling inside the classroom." said Davis School District spokesperson Chris Williams.

On Tuesday, Salt Lake City hit 100 degrees for the 26th time this year, extending a record that's making everyone sweat, and that includes students.

"We want to provide a comfortable, safe learning environment for the students of Davis County, and we do everything in our power to do that," said Doug Anderson, director of utility services in the district.

Officials anticipated the heat, but no one could predict how long it would last.

The high temperatures are causing issues in schools like Sunset Junior High. Built in 1963, the school wasn't constructed to have air conditioning, so swamp coolers in the hallway and classrooms are keeping things cool.

"Certainly it's not the fix that we want, but it's something to get us by here," Anderson said.

Sunset is the last school without any A/C in classrooms, but it's not the only one dealing with problems. Another is Clearfield High School where parents said the start of school has been rough with high temperatures plaguing students.

"So we had some some issues at Clearfield High this year with some rooms that were were above what we would want to see as a temperature," said Anderson. "And so we went out and worked with the staff, worked with our maintenance folks and diagnosed the issues and found some remedies that we could use to fix the building.

"And right now Clearfield is working very well."

The Davis School District has put forth a bond proposal to help update schools and prevent the high heat from affecting students and teachers. The funds would allow Sunset to be completely rebuilt, along with air conditioning projects across the district.

In the meantime, the district will keep working to cool down with technology in every classroom to make sure officials are aware of the temperatures. But the hope is a long term solution comes along to make sure it doesn’t get too hot.

"We have to be cognizant of the other situations where we have to be aware of the temperatures," said Williams.