Two Austin schools’ heating systems temporarily go out


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Students and teachers had to use portable heaters Monday when the boilers temporarily went out at Russell Lee and Casis Elementary Schools.

AISD Director of Facilities Maintenance and Operations Louis Zachary says the boiler at Russell Lee Elementary just had to be reset. At Casis Elementary, the boiler’s ignitor had to be replaced. Both heating systems were back up and running the same day.

Zachary says the district contracts with companies that provide portable heaters for classrooms any time a boiler goes out. He also says AISD spends months ahead of time preparing to make sure heat-related issues are kept at a minimum during classes in the wintertime.

“Over the summer we start looking at our heating systems,” Zachary said, “And we have a schedule where we meet every Monday and we identify issues such as boilers or those types of equipment that we want to check, just to make sure they’re functioning properly whenever we have a cold spell.”

Zachary says on Monday alone, AISD ‘s maintenance staff received 29 heat-related service requests. 

“We’re always trying to plan ahead, but whenever we see a problem in the district we just make sure we’re there to take care of it as quickly as possible,” Zachary said. “We’re working and preparing each and every day, just to make sure that our students and staff are comfortable when they arrive to the classroom.”

Zachary says any time the temperature drops below 55 degrees, all AISD schools’ heat will automatically run. It runs on and off overnight, to conserve energy, then ramps up in the early morning hours, to ensure classrooms are warm when students get to school.

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