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Ongoing air conditioning issues at TUSD schools

Posted: 3:17 PM, Aug 01, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-02 23:44:39Z

Thousands of students and teachers are heading back to school Thursday.

For many of the students in the Tucson Unified School District, classrooms temperatures will be higher than usual.

Multiple TUSD schools have air conditioning units that need to be fixed. Some are continuing to get fixed by the district.

Cholla High School is one of the schools affected. According to an anonymous teacher at the High school she says, "The a/c is still not working. It is extremely humid in here and they are planning on bringing in fans which are too loud to teach in the classroom."

KGUN 9 reached out to the district, they say, "The temporary cooling is still on site and cooling the classrooms and will remain until the cooling tower is replaced." 

Below is a list of the HVAC projects completed and in progress provided by TUSD. 

TUSD spokeswoman, Karla Escamilla, provided KGUN 9 with an update of what is happening at Cholla on Thursday afternoon.

Escamilla says, "two things are happening at Cholla." 

  • The K-Pod had the air handler replaced and was fully operational this Monday, July 30th. This was a School Facilities Board funded project.
  • The second project is the Tower Replacement. The cooling tower is an integral part of the Chillers. The district installed 2 Portable 400 ton towers to keep the site cooled during this replacement phase. These are placed outside the building. The school was never without cooling. Anticipated completion of the project is August 14th. There will be no interruption of cooling during this project. This is also a School Facilities Board funded project.

List of AC issues provided to KGUN 9 on Wednesday, August 1.

Cholla High School

  • Cooling tower is being replaced and will be complete by August 14.  Temporary towers were installed for the changeover and will remain in place to keep the classrooms cool until the project is complete.
  • K-Pod Air Handler Replacement – when the school was built, this space was an open format.  However, the space was changed to classrooms, and the existing equipment wasn’t designed for that use and attempts to make the equipment work in the space have not been successful.  An engineer has been engaged to design and install the proper equipment.  The district expects this to be complete by start of school.

Roskruge Bilingual K-8 Magnet School

  • Two air cooled chillers failed last year and have been replaced.  The new units are quieter than the older units. 
  • Plant controls failed and were replaced with controls that are compatible with our central system. 

Oyama Elementary School

  • Replaced one air cooled chiller that had continuing breakdowns.  The new unit should be installed by 8/30.

Pistor Middle School

  • The tower was filled with silt, making it inefficient.  The tower is working but the tower fill will be replaced over fall break.  Students will not experience a difference, but the replacement is necessary to extend the life of the tower.

Mansfeld Middle School

  • This kitchen was cooled with an evaporative cooler that was at the end of its life and was no longer keeping the kitchen at required temperatures.  This unit is being replaced with A/C however the building had to be structurally reinforced to hold the added weight of the new unit.  This work started as soon as school was out and will be completed by the start of school.

Cragin Elementary School

  • This kitchen was cooled with an evaporative cooler that was at the end of its life and was no longer keeping the kitchen at required temperatures.  This unit is being replaced with an A/C unit however the building had to be structurally reinforced to hold the added weight of the new unit. 

Cooper Center for Environmental Learning (Camp Cooper)

  • Replaced 2 failed HVAC units.  The existing units were not sufficient to cool the rooms to a comfortable temperature level.  Eight additional units for the bungalows are planned to be installed.

Santa Rita High School

  • Chiller repairs – The Chillers at this site have been repaired and are operating but the units are in need of replacement. A request to the School Facilities Board is being submitted for the replacement.

Morgan Maxwell K-8 School

  • Replaced failed hot and cold loops used to circulate hot and cold water throughout the building.  The old pipes had eroded and were repaired multiple times, but there were continuing challenges.  The pipes are in the process of being replaced.

Magee Middle School

  • Failing cooling tower.  Repairs have been made to keep the tower functioning for the start of school.  The cooling tower will be replaced over fall break. 
  • Catalina High, Morgan Maxwell K-8, Sahuaro High, Dietz K-8 Schools
  • Repaired failed plate and frames for energy efficiency.  As long as temperatures are moderate, this more cost efficient unit will run in place of the chiller.  The chiller only engages in high temperatures.

Rincon High School

  • Rebuilt the cooling tower.  Also changed the sprinkler system and did a thorough cleaning of the system