School and building officials admit that the new Cole Middle School is warmer than it’s supposed to be, saying that the digital temperature control system is still being worked on.
“It’s never going to feel like an air-conditioned room would,” said Jon Winikur at the School Committee meeting Tuesday night. “But it should feel better than it does.”
Winikur reminded the School Committee that only certain areas of the new building have air conditioning, including the administration offices and the media center. The cost of cooling the entire building was deemed too expensive.
"There was a conscious decision not to air condition this building," he said.
However, he said, there is a ventilation system in place to provide air movement throughout the building. In fact, during the meeting, which was held in the Cole cafetorium, people mentioned that they could feel breezes.
But, as Winikur noted, that sort of mechanical ventilation will only help so much.
"Unless you’re standing in front of a blowing fan, you don’t feel cooler," he said for comparison.
In addition, the ventilation system is not yet fully functional, Winikur said. That is a by-product of the decision to move into the school in April.
“We knew near the [move-in date] that they were going to have trouble finishing that aspect of the project,” Winikur said. "We don't really have complete control."
“It’s hot but we’re hanging in there,” said Cole Principal Alexis Meyer on Wednesday. She said that parts of the second and third floors are warmer because they get more sun.
“They have fans and they are keeping the windows open and their shades are down” in those classrooms, she said. “We’ll be looking forward to Friday and a little bit cooler temperature.”
The end of the year frozen yogurt celebration for all the kids who’ve read at least 30 books is tomorrow at 1pm, just as temperatures are predicted to be reaching the mid 90s. Meyer said that, yes, the timing for that particular event couldn’t be better.