Posted: Jun 29, 2012 6:56 PM by Matt Noonan
Updated: Jun 29, 2012 10:54 PM
COLUMBIA - Five Columbia elementary schools will install central air conditioning over the summer. Grant, Lee, Midway Heights, Ridgeway and Two Mile Prairie will all have new air conditioning systems up and running for the start of the 2012-2013 school year on August 16.
The installations will cost about $4.2 million and will be funded by a $120 million bond issue that was approved in April 2010, according to district community relations director Michelle Baumstark.
Baumstark says the new air conditioning systems will not only create more comfort, but more possibilities for summer school.
"Ideally we like to have summer school in our neighborhood schools, but it makes it hard when you're dealing with heat in the summer months," Baumstark said. "So we do try to focus on our air conditioned buildings where we can hold our summer school classes. So this will certainly make more opportunities to have summer school."
Stark says the air conditioning will also allow for easier scheduling during the schoolyear.
"Additionally it allows us to change our heat dismissal schedules as well, so we won't have to dismiss early for heat for as many buildings," Baumstark said. "And we've been scaling that back as we've been bringing schools on with air conditioning over the last several years."
After the air conditioning installations are complete, Jefferson and West junior high schools will be the only district schools without air conditioning. Baumstark says those schools are slated to have air conditioning systems installed by the end of 2014.
View Columbia Public Schools Air Conditioning in a larger map