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Sweating details: Rules delay school AC repairs

TUSD says reduced state aid slows repairs
Posted at 8:22 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 23:22:19-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - It has been miserably hot and there's been an extra dose of misery at a Tucson school.

TUSD's Hollinger K through 8 has been struggling to fix the broken cooling system in the school cafeteria.

Parents have been turning up the heat to get the cooling fixed.

Portable coolers have been trying to bring down the temps in the Hollinger cafeteria. The regular air conditioning's broken, the weather's hot and the stoves and ovens in the kitchen make things even hotter.

Reyna Ortiz says it's been tough on her two kids----and about 600 classmates.

"Everyone's suffering--health problems, kids are vomiting and everything and so our school principal's trying to do everything he can. He's following procedures, protocols. He submitted the work order to get our AC fixed, replaced, since July 16 and we're still hoping to get it fixed...soon."

"If your AC gave out at home you might need some time to come up with the money to go buy a new one. If you're a school district spending tax dollars there are a lot of requirements that burn up time while the kids are burning up."

TUSD says it'll cost almost 50 thousand dollars to replace the air conditioning. That money comes from the State's school facilities board and it will not pay unless the district proves there's no way to keep the old unit running.

TUSD Board President Adelita Grijalva says , “All of our HVAC units are very old. Some parts just don't make any more. So we have to actually fabricate parts. That's a big issue."

But Grijalva says the bigger issue is TUSD schools are getting older and harder to maintain, when state aid to schools is a tiny fraction of what the state used to provide.

For now, kids at Hollinger are eating in the classrooms and the new AC is set for installation next Wednesday.