AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some high school students in Austin went back to school Monday morning to hot classrooms.
McCallum High School experienced air-conditioning issues as students came to campus for their first day of the new school year. A ReportIt email from a student at the school said their classroom was 91 degrees at 8:30 a.m.
The Liberal Arts and Science Academy dealt with two HVAC issues on campus Monday, according to a letter sent to parents.
The letter said a new compressor is being installed Monday evening in an affected annex of the campus.
The school expects to be at 100% functionality of all units by Tuesday morning, the letter states.
Elizabeth Lippincott, Austin ISD’s assistant director of communications, confirmed to KXAN the entire McCallum campus was without air conditioning temporarily Monday morning, and parts of the campus were still without it as of 10 a.m.
“The main air conditioning chillers, which provide air conditioning to all classrooms, are back on at McCallum HS. They were out temporarily this morning,” Lippincott said. “The chiller for the theatre and art spaces is also down. Maintenance teams are working to get it back online as soon as possible.”
There is not yet an anticipated repair timeline for the theatre and art spaces.
Austin ISD has been working to resolve air conditioning and HVAC issues that some campuses have experienced. Interim Superintendent Matias Segura gave KXAN’s Nabil Remadna several updates on the district, including progress on the HVAC systems.
Remadna asked, “Will the HVAC systems be ready for the start of school?” Below is Segura’s response:
“Things have been much improved, and it has been a progression over multiple years. If you think back to the 2017 bond program and the investment, we had to improve HVAC systems that had been built up and we were able to supplement that and build off that with the 2022 bond program. So, from an overall number of classrooms, we have about 5,000 classrooms, the vast majority of them are properly heated and cooled. We do have a few areas of concern, we are working through those to provide temporary cooling units, but by in large we are very well positioned. One of the things we do every year is… systematically go through every single space with the school district and do an assessment to make sure we are ready for the school year starting, and we address any last-minute HVAC issues at that time. I just met with our chief of operations, Christine Steenport, got a final report and we are very well positioned to start the school year cool and comfortable.”