UPDATE: Schools dismiss early due to heating issues

Published: Jan. 2, 2018 at 10:17 AM EST
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UPDATE 1/2/18 @ 11:30 p.m.

Maintenance crews with Kanawha County Schools have been working throughout the evening, trying to fix broken heating systems at a handful of schools.

Cold classroom temperatures forced four schools to dismiss students early Tuesday and another to close school altogether.

Other schools, like Herbert Hoover High School, were able to correct low temperatures quickly enough to keep students in school.

Still, HHHS Principal Mike Kelley says, issues with the heaters at the new portable campus had the school day in jeopardy at one point.

"We did have four classrooms where the temperature was below sixty," Kelley said. "One, in particular, was forty-six degrees when we first got there...by the end of the day all of our classrooms were at acceptable levels."

As for the schools who were forced to dismiss early, Superintendent Dr. Ron Duerring says maintenance crews worked Tuesday afternoon and into the evening to fix any problem HVAC units.

Duerring says they hope to have every school's heating system back at full capacity for class Wednesday.

"We're doing our best to make sure all the heating issues are corrected," Duerring said.

Duerring says, considering how cold it's been, he's thankful there weren't more problems.

"Considering the fact that we have 68 schools, and only five had to be canceled, that's pretty good," Duerring said.

School leaders say, Wednesday morning, they plan on testing several of the buildings that had issues to make sure the heat is flowing properly before students come in for the day.

They say, if all is well, class will be in session. If there are further issues, they will let parents know right away.

UPDATE 1/2/18 @ 6 p.m.

Heating issues have caused some schools in Kanawha County to dismiss early on their first day back from winter break.

Midland Trail Elementary School, Cedar Grove Elementary School, Cedar Grove Middle School and Hayes Middle School all dismissed before 10:30 a.m. due to no heat at the schools.

St. Albans High School was closed Tuesday due to similar issues.

Bitter cold temperatures are expected Tuesday with highs only expected to reach 20. Several school districts operated on a delay or were closed on Tuesday due to the weather, but Kanawha County Schools operated on a regular schedule.

Herbert Hoover High School was in school Tuesday, despite several parent complaints.

According to Kanawha County Schools on Tuesday morning, 10 portables out of 45 at Hoover were below 65 degrees. Of those, four were only slightly below normal and six were more significantly below normal.

The school system says as of roughly 11:30 a.m., they had 40 of 45 rooms at 65 degrees or above. At 1 p.m. they had 42 of 45 rooms at 65 or above. The temperatures in the remaining three rooms are rising steadily.

Kanawha County Schools told WSAZ each teacher in the three remaining rooms at Herbert Hoover had the option to move their class.

Hoover has also experienced some water issues when the school was still closed for the holiday.

A spokesperson with Kanawha County Schools says a pipe burst in a classroom and a sink overflowed on Monday. The issue was fixed and cleaned up that same day.

On Tuesday morning, another sink in a science lab overflowed, but custodians were able to clean it up so there was no issue in the classroom.