High school students complain about hot classrooms when upgrading air conditioning system

By Ravi Baichwal

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HILLSIDE, Illinois (WLS) – The blistering temperatures inside Proviso West High School are causing complaints and concerns from students.

The school said on Wednesday it was trying to update the air conditioning system, which some said was not working hard enough to cool things down.

“Every once in a while you will see someone do like that,” said Justin Conley, senior, puffing up his shirt. “That’s how hot it is. You have to wear a stick of deodorant because you were going to be sweaty.

Proviso West is home to more than 1,800 students and is in the middle of a $ 77 million district-wide capital improvement project that includes new air conditioning equipment in classrooms and coolers in the basement. The 63-year-old complex has a student-to-teacher ratio of just under 1:19, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

“Here at Proviso West, we have bottled water, cases of bottled water available to students and teachers when they need it, where they need it,” said Nicole Wilson, responsible for public and community relations for secondary schools in the canton of Proviso.

The fans are spaced throughout the building and on request in the classrooms. Some of the heat is dissipated through open doors and windows – and worried parents are urged to be patient.

“We’re telling them, we understand it’s hot outside and we’re going to do what we can to make sure there is some level of comfort,” Wilson said.

Senior Cierra Neal said it was “very difficult” to study at this stifling school.

“You have to find a fan or a folder to wither yourself,” she added.

“It’s fine on the third floor, but once you get to the second and first it’s a little wet,” said rookie Jorge Carillo.

Beyond modernizing the building, the solution to tackling the summer heat in the classroom might be not to have lessons in the summer.

“If this is something the state would like to consider, it is something that we will have to consider as a school district,” Wilson said.

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