Students, faculty fight to stay cool in an older school

Aug 24, 2023, 7:58 PM | Updated: Aug 25, 2023, 6:07 am

WASHINGTON TERRACE, Utah — Roosevelt Elementary School in Weber County will turn 66 years old in September.

It will be replaced in two years, but the faculty here knows Utah can get some serious heat waves in August, just like last school year.

In the halls of Roosevelt Elementary, even the goldfish can see the humidity.

Jeramie Pulshiper has a daughter in the third grade at the school.

“Everywhere you look in there, there’s swamp coolers with wetted pads. They’re trying to ventilate the school,” Pulsipher said.

Several other parents voiced their concerns about the heat as well.

“I also have a wife that works here with a team that works very had to do what they can to make it comfortable inside of a school that is hot,” Pulsipher said.

Parents said the staff does their best in a tough situation. Principal Shelly Naef is one of those employees.

“It’s really important to all of us to make this work for them,” Naef said.

Right now, they’re trying to plan for any potential heat waves by placing coolers in the halls, several cold-water stations, fans in the classrooms and cooling towels for the kids. There are a few misting bottles too but the old building has its limitations.

“We can’t plug too many plugs into the same circuit,” Naef explained.

Too many devices in one outlet, and it could trip a circuit.

“We have to be careful where we place fans, how many fans we can have in a room, how many air conditioning units we can have,” Naef said.

Naef says they’re watching all of those things, and the kids very closely.

“I go in each classroom and check, make sure their color is and everybody’s happy. Haven’t had any kids sweating profusely yet. We watch for headaches and belly aches and bloody noses, things like that,” Naef said.

But there is hope on the eventual horizon. A brand new school set to open in two years — central air included.

“We’re all looking forward to wearing sweaters in August. That’s our goal,” Naef said.

Contractors will start building the new Roosevelt Elementary where the school’s west wing is now, so they can continue with classes to the east.

Construction is set to begin this December.

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Students, faculty fight to stay cool in an older school