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Chester High School closed for several days with heating issues (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
<p>Chester High School closed for several days with heating issues.</p>

Avoiding Heating Problems in School Buildings

Managing the heating in buildings is a must during the coldest months of the year, but it becomes especially important when the occupants are school children. Take a recent story from the Delaware County Daily Times, which found Chester High School closed for several days with heating issues.

In this instance, the district’s Superintendent Gregory Shannon said a heating malfunction meant students were dismissed early on Monday and completely out of school Tuesday and Wednesday. Not only does this mean a delay in the education of students, it likely means thousands of dollars in extra costs for the district.

Similar problems led to multiple building closures during cold snaps in the 2013-2014 school year. During a recent series of hearings in front of Judge Chad Kenney regarding the district’s financial recovery, representatives from the state’s Department of Education have pledged financial assistance to fund an overhaul of the high school’s climate control systems.

“That’s a larger project,” Shannon said of the replacement, which has not begun. “This project is an immediate fix on some system failures that have come up in the last few days.”

As many building managers may know (and others have likely experienced), putting a bandage on necessary repairs will only go so far. In most cases, it is a much better idea to get the big fix out of the way as soon as possible so it will not impact business, or in this case a school day. While the fixes to this district’s heating systems are predicted to cost $6 million, waiting on the big fix has meant children having their education delayed.

What experiences do you have with heating malfunctions in buildings? Do you have any tips for how situations like this can be avoided? Let us know.

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