It is clear that the recent cold weather has had an adverse impact on some of our heating plants and we are taking the necessary steps to address these issues as soon as possible so as to minimize any impact on instructional time.
We have received the most communication regarding Doherty High School. The immediate response that we will be taking is an earlier starting time for the heating system during the colder weather. This should mitigate much of the overall building problems that has been experienced at the school. However, the school does experience significant heat loss; first when the rush of students enter during the morning (with doors being opened for extended times) and during the day due to the condition of the school’s overall building envelope. This also contributes to the variances in temperature within rooms and is not a new issue. This is the condition resulting from of the non-insulated, single paned windows that surround the entire building envelope. This is one of the reasons that we have identified Doherty High School as a project for major renovation under MSBA. We will continue to work with our HVAC and building custodial staff to address daily, localized issues at the school. We believe that turning the heat on earlier and some other steps will mitigate the problems at this school.
We have also experienced problems at other schools this week, including WTHS, McGrath, PIC, Quinsigamond, and Fanning. These were primarily related to building controls and remote communications issues and have been resolved. We’ve also had problems at North High and those issues appear to have been resolved through the construction contractor. The building needed adjustments to the building controls based on the commissioning process of the school while in full operation.
Jim Bedard is meeting with the HVAC lead tradesman each morning to review the status of all buildings and deploys necessary resources to address any issues.