Boilers too old to warm Ozark schools

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

Brooke Campbell and her students at Mixon Elementary are working comfortably in the classroom. They even have the windows cracked open.

However on Tuesday, the temperatures weren't as warm.

Teacher Brooke Campbell of Mixon Elementary School says, "A few of the children that normally wear jackets kept their jackets on, you know I didn't have to wear my jacket very long."

Mixon and Lisenby elementary schools have both faced heating problems with the cold temperatures.

Certain areas in the schools still operate off a boiler.

Dr. Richard McInturf, the Assoc. Superintendent of Ozark City Schools says, "We do have ongoing discussions on what we need to do long term to solve, these boilers are old, most of them are 35, 40 years old and they're just tired."

Assistant superintendent of Ozark City Schools Richard McInturf says there is no problem with the boilers themselves.

It's the temperatures in the teens that are making them work harder.

McInturf says, "The situation that we've got is when it gets this cold as it got last night and the night before, all of those boilers have difficulty keeping up with the demand."

Even though heat has been fixed over at Mixon, students and staff at Lisenby are still rotating to stay warm.

Principal Jaann Wells of Lisenby Elementary says, "We are offering them some other classrooms that are empty that they could possibly move into for the rest of the year."

Principal of Lisenby Elementary Jaann Wells says five classrooms are still lacking heat, causing some teachers to play musical chairs with classrooms.

Wells says, "Absolutely. They’re allowed to move to another classroom and be creative in providing for those children. We don't want any children to be cold or uncomfortable."

For Campbell’s classroom, students are more worried about test-taking rather than staying warm.

Officials with Ozark city schools are working on submitting an application to the Alabama state energy office to request funds for new windows and possibly replacing boilers with new heat pumps.


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