CCSD: Air conditioning outages part of bigger problem

CCSD: Air conditioning outages part of bigger problem

By Marco Villarreal. CREATED Sep 7, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The heat is on in some elementary schools, and it's not supposed to be.

The latest air conditioning problem sent kids home early and had parents demanding a permanent fix. The air conditioning went out Friday at Gragson Elementary, but parents have focused attention on air conditioning problems in at least two other schools.

John Johnson picked up his son from school early, "They had a short day because I guess the air conditioning units are out so I decided to come and pick him up."

Administrators at Gragson Elementary started making calls early Friday morning alerting parents the air conditioning in the main building was out. 

"When I got here, they had all of the teachers passing out notes where you had the option of leaving the children until 12:00 or taking them home and it would be an excused absence," said Deanya Aguirre, who picked up her grand kids.

A lot of the parents told Action News it was a letter that teachers and administrators were handing out Friday morning that made them feel more comfortable with how the school was handling this whole issue of not having air conditioning in the main building.

Students that stayed were kept in temporary buildings with working AC. This isn't the first time this school year the AC has gone out at a school. Action News got word from parents the AC at Culley Elementary was having problems. Earlier in the week students were kept home when the air went out at Diskin Elementary.

"In the district we have 357 schools. We have 6,000 air conditioning units. We have 6 technicians that have to service all those schools," said Joyce Haldeman, associate superintendent at the Clark County School District.

Getting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units fixed is only a temporary solution said the CCSD. There's a ballot measure in November that would raise $720 million in 6 years through a property tax hike; with the money used to repair some of the oldest schools in the county.

"It will help us take care of those needs that are the most dire, and those AC technicians will not have to be spending as much time rescuing those schools that are really in bad condition," said Haldeman.

What do parents think of the plan?

"They have my vote now. I'm telling them now. They have my vote. Yes, they do," said Johnson.

The school district said its technicians are working hard to get broken systems up and running again and sent a statement that reads: "The District works hard to avoid inconveniencing parents, and we ask for their patience as we continue to make our students and their safety a priority."