MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – As temperatures outside soared, inside Lori Barker’s eighth grade language arts class the temperature was 92-- check that-- 93 degrees on Tuesday.
"When you have kids that are going down to the nurse because they're not feeling well, they're putting their heads down, they want to go to sleep, when your room doesn't go below 90 degrees . . . you're in a brick building basically baking,” said the Middletown Middle School teacher.
The oven of course was built in 1922 as the beautiful old high school. Some rooms have air conditioning window units, but those are cost prohibitive because the old building needs to be rewired.
Because of the heat Barker couldn't teach class the way she wanted to. For safety issues, the school’s administrator decided to close by 1:30 p.m.
"Your equipment is continually feeling like its overheating,” Barker said. “Our overhead today finally just said, ‘I've had enough. I'm too hot I'm not even going to turn back on for you.’"
The announcement that school was going to be dismissed early was a welcome relief to the students. It was also met with agreement from parents."I have an eighth grader at the school and she said they do get pretty hot and like a couple of all classrooms have some air conditioning but for the most part I think it's pretty hot in there," Parker said. "This is a great building and has a lot of historical background. I went here so I have a lot of ties to it but it's kind of served its purpose."
So, as parents and teachers wait for temperatures to cool, the school district will wait to see if voters will approve a bond issue this November so a new middle school, with air conditioning, can be built next to the high school.