Columbia Public Schools Conserves Air Conditioning on Hot Day

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COLUMBIA - A total of 19 public schools in Columbia were required to set the thermostat on their air conditioning to a higher setting on Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. under the city of Columbia's "Load Shedding Program."  The program's purpose is to reduce Columbia's demand for energy during peak afternoon periods. Columbia Public Schools has participated in this program for the past nine years, with the incentive to save money in utility costs.  Participation in the program does not allow the schools to decide when the air conditioning will be turned to a hotter setting. However, special accommodations are made for meetings or special events.

Many of the schools were taken aback Thursday due to the fact that the air was down on such short notice and while school was still in session.  Actions in the past usually occurred during the Summer months when students were not presesnt.  Theschool district did not have time to notify parents or students prior to the instance on Thursday.  Community relations coordinator, Michelle Baumstark, said this is the first time in many years they turned down air conditioning during the school day.