Heat Forces Second Early Release for Columbia Schools Wednesday

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools is dismissing seven schools early Monday. The early dismissal is due to high temperatures later this afternoon.

All seven schools cancelling are supposed to get air conditioning within the next four years. It goes back to the bond issue that voters approved in April of 2010. The project was a $120 million bond issue to build the new Battle High School. Columbia Public Schools is committed to getting air conditioning in the seven schools, but administrators know it will take time.

"For West and Jeff Junior Highs, it took us eight to ten months to get engineering drawings on how to do it," Superintendent Chris Belcher said. "Those are old buildings. You don't just go in and put in window units."

Kids at West and Jefferson Junior High are getting out Monday morning at 11:30. Elementary school kids at Lee, Midway Heights, New Haven, Ridgeway, and Two Mile Prairie will get out at 12:30 p.m.