For educators at Sabillasville Elementary, the start of the school year is all in the timing.
"During the last week of July and the first couple weeks of August, it was above 90 degrees and it was about 97 degrees in the cafeteria. In the hallways, it was about 100," said Karen Locke, principal.
Some parents are asking county school officials to finally bring air conditioning to the schools cafeteria, which doubles as a gym and triples as an auditorium. The multipurpose room has never had air conditioning in the schools 40 years, but the principal said students are in there for a total of an hour and a half each day.
"Its not been a problem and we dont anticipate having a problem. We havent had any heat related incidents with students," said Locke.
County school officials said building projects at other schools have taken priority.
"Weve not yet determined whether were just going to go in and provide air conditioning for the spaces that dont have it or whether were going to install a new central air conditioning system," said Ray Barnes, Frederick County Public Schools Facilities Director.
The project is slated for funding in five years. Air conditioning in just the cafeteria alone will cost around $200,000. A new central AC system will cost around $800,000. Sabillasvilles principal doesnt mind waiting.
"There may not be maximum comfort but achievement is still maximized," said Locke.
When it does get too hot, students will eat lunch in their classroom and head to the Media Center for Physical Education. Meantime, educators will continue to monitor a sophisticated thermometer in the hallway.
Walkersville and New Midway Elementary Schools dont have air conditioning in their cafeterias.
Reported by Adam Hudson"
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