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School districts scramble to repair AC as temperatures sizzle

Sweltering temperatures continue to scorch San Diego County, and those without air conditioning are struggling to stay cool. The surge has left several school districts scrambling to install portable AC units and repair units that have broken down at the worst time. KPBS Education Reporter M.G. Perez has more.

Sweltering temperatures continue to scorch San Diego County and those without air conditioning struggle to stay cool.

The surge in heat has left some school districts scrambling to install portable AC units and repair units that have broken down at the worst time.

Three schools in the Poway Unified School District continue to hold classes without working air conditioning.

In a letter to parents, Sidia Martinez, the principal of Midland Elementary said, “District teams are being brought in to diagnose the issue, but in the meantime, due to the ongoing excessive heat warning, we will be moving to a minimum day [schedule].”

That means students will be released at noon at least through Friday so they can go home to escape from the heat.

Bernardo Heights Middle School and Rancho Bernardo High School also continue to have no consistent air conditioning. A new chiller that was installed last week could not handle the load of both campuses. A second chiller has been installed and students are being released early as well until it can be brought online.

In the San Diego Unified School District, a dedicated team of technicians is working to make repairs at campuses.

The district has already distributed 120 portable AC units to schools that need them. Sixty more units are being distributed by Friday.

“Essentially the way we triage how to prioritize repairs depends on how many folks are impacted by an outage,” Samer Naji, a spokesman for the district’s facilities department told KPBS News. “So let's say an entire school goes down. That's going to be prioritized over a school that potentially lost air conditioning in a building,” Naji said.

School districts scramble to repair AC as temperatures sizzle

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