HVAC Update

Aug 19, 2019

Dear JCS Community:
           We wanted to offer an update on the HVAC systems at our schools as we deal with a heatwave in Jefferson County. Our maintenance staff has spent much of the summer working to stay one step ahead of routine issues so we would be ready to go this morning. As always, there have been unanticipated breakdowns and some variables that impact opening day. Please review the following updates. 

1.     The storm that occurred last night (Aug. 18, 2019), impacted everything from the internet to phone lines at some of our schools. The entire HVAC system at Jefferson High School had to be restarted as a result.  Southern Air graciously sent four of their technicians out to join our staff early this morning, and air conditioning was functional in all but one room by 9:00 AM. We anticipate that the room will have air conditioning by the end of the day. It may take some time for the units to fully cool the buildings, but the HVAC system is operational.
2.     While HVAC work is completed at Jefferson High School, our maintenance staff and the technicians from Southern Air are being dispersed to other schools to address other HVAC issues that arose last minute. We are optimistic that most of the issues can be resolved today.
3.     Air conditioning is working at every school in the county. There may be individual units at some of our schools that are either waiting on parts, down for repairs, or are not operating at peak efficiency. In instances where we have known about HVAC issues, we have taken proactive steps of installing portable air conditioning units and fans. We are continuing to work through other issues as they arise. Principals are also monitoring the situation in their buildings to keep students safe.
4.     During extreme heat, our HVAC units need to run constantly without a shutdown cycle. Just like your air conditioners at home, it is very taxing to the system and can lead to less efficient cooling. With temperatures today well into the 90’s, we anticipate our units will be working overtime to keep classrooms comfortable. In some cases, it may be warm. If it becomes unsafe, our principals will work with teachers and our maintenance staff to make sure that temperatures are brought within tolerable levels, or that students are moved to a different location within the school.
We share your concerns about proper cooling as we deal with the summer heat. As always, student safety is our top priority.  Thank you for giving us the benefit of the doubt and helping us ensure that students are in a positive learning environment. We are proud of the work our staff has done over the summer to prepare our buildings for students and are grateful for their efforts today as they manage unanticipated challenges. Your continued partnership and support are truly appreciated as we begin the new school year.

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