TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The heat and the pressure were on for the Hillsborough County School District to replace or overhaul aging air conditioning units at schools across the county.
This summer they did work at 21 sites. But they are nowhere near finished. There are 203 schools slated to be repaired over the next several years.
At Walker Middle school in Odessa, a lot of work was done to fix the aging AC. Teachers are glad to see the change.
“I’m looking forward to a better year academically across the board and temperature-wise,” teacher Desiree Daerr said.
Friday teachers were breaking a sweat but for this time good reason. They are moving into classrooms, not sweating because here’s no air conditioning… like some days last school year.
Lana Conrad’s daughter is an 8th grader at Walker. Last school year she had to pick her daughter up several times because of heat.
“Some days are not quite so good. Some days the kids want to go home because they’re quite hot. There are days when it’s very cold, it’s very inconsistent. More hot than cold and we’re looking forward to a good year where it’s more consistent across the board,” Daerr said.
Work began at Walker and 20 other schools the day after school ended this year… Replacing or overhauling AC systems.
All of it is being paid for by a sales tax voters passed last year.
It was a mess at the beginning of last school year. 8 On Your Side fielded call after call from parents complaining of problems. The district claims they listened. And according to officials, there are 100 projects underway including:
- 13 roofs being replaced
- 50 playgrounds and multiple track and athletic areas replaced
- 31 painting and carpeting projects
This is just the first year. Friday parents who volunteered to move instruments back the band room said the working air is music to their ears.
“We are very excited to have the air fixed at Walker. It’s been years and years dealing with problems, so we are very excited and blessed to have fixed this year,” Jennifer Betancourt said.
Repairs to schools will continue for the next 10 years using sales tax dollars.