JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — UPDATE 8/13/2021 3:40 p.m.:
Action News Jax received the following statement from Duval County Public Schools:
“Thanks for standing by while we looked into this. Intermittent AC issues are not uncommon and are typically resolved by our maintenance staff on the same day. For example, the six schools you originally sent to us experienced intermittent AC issues in scattered classrooms and a few other areas on Aug. 11. Maintenance crews worked throughout the day to address the AC issues, and all were repaired by the end of the school day, with the exception of one classroom where maintenance needed to order equipment to resolve.
A long-term solution for our buildings – which are the oldest school buildings in the state of Florida – is a large part of why voters recently approved a half-cent sales tax to fund our Master Facility Plan. This plan, which identifies major renovations, repairs, and new construction needed for our schools, will occur over the next 15 years.
In the meantime, our district maintenance crews continue to address AC issues immediately as they come up, which is the short-term solution.”
When it’s blistering hot outside, most of the time all you want is air conditioning. Now, several parents of students from Duval County Public Schools are telling Action News Jax their children are sitting in several classrooms without it.
“It’s very concerning. It’s hot outside,” Glennetta Dixon said.
First day of school began on Tuesday for DCPS but it’s not the start that some parents and students wanted. Dixon is the mother of an Andrew Jackson High School student and tells Action News Jax she was told by her daughter, not the school, there’s been no air conditioning in multiple classrooms for three straight school days.
Dixon said her daughter has asthma and is concerned.
“How the kids going to learn?” Dixon said. “It’s too hot for them to be in school, in an old building, no air conditioning flowing through there.”
Action News Jax reached out to DCPS for confirmation and comment several times since Wednesday night. They acknowledged our request, but did not confirm the problem or say how many classrooms are affected. In an emailed response, Action News Jax was told they’re looking into it, saying in part, “many of these requests require that we collaborate with other departments within the district. I’ll follow up with you when I know more.”
Parents tell Action News Jax it’s not just a problem at one school; at Sandalwood High School, one mother said her son didn’t have air conditioning in his classroom on the first day of school, but said thankfully it came back on the next day.
“A concern was being hot in the classroom or being uncomfortable, especially with the masks unless you opted out,” Elisa Townsend said. “I’m just glad they have it on because I’m pretty sure they’d be complaining.”
Another parent of Southside Estates Elementary told Action News Jax her daughter informed her of no air conditioning in her classroom, now for two-days in a row, but said there was a backup plan to bring them into the air-conditioned media center for work.
Action News Jax will continue to ask DCPS what exactly is happening and when things will be fixed.
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