The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Online Extension — The Breakdown: HVAC Crisis

By Staff Writers Hannah Chou, Joelle Chuang, Andrew Kan & Helen Wang

In the March 3, 2017 issue, the Smoke Signal revisited issues with MSJ’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The Smoke Signal conducted an online survey of teachers from January 25 to 27 in order to gain insight on HVAC issues, and a total of 25 teachers responded to the survey. Their responses are shown below.


Do you have any other suggestions, comments, or concerns?

“The HVAC has been repaired over time but there continue to be problems with AC and with heat. It seems like it cannot ‘stay fixed.’ ”

“I would LOVE control over my classroom. In the winter my students say they are too cold to function. In the spring we have labs and dissections in my class and without control the smell is horrendous because of the heat. Control would allow me to moderate these negative effects.”

“My thermostat does not display a temperature and the heating and cooling come on randomly and do not usually correlate with the weather.”

“The ventilation system ebbs and flows. There are days my classroom does not get above 55 degrees. Other times when it is warm outside, the ventilation system is sending out heat. It makes it difficult for the students to learn, when they are shivering or sweating.”

“Update the system and give teachers control in the classroom.”

“I would like to have heat in the classroom, it does not work.”

“Sometimes the HVAC shuts off at 3 and can’t be overridden in spite of the fact that several people in my wing stay much, much later. I go home when it is too hot/cold.”

“We need a coordinated effort, at the school level, district level, and state level to secure funding for excellent 21st century facilities and operations. Thank you.”

“I have full control over my thermostat and it is wonderful.”

“There is no excuse for, year after year, teaching students in a classroom that’s super uncomfortable and not conducive to teaching or learning.”

“I am very lucky, because my room is always warm. This does cause some difficulty during the warm months, but I am usually able to deal with that by keeping the door open. In the winter, it’s pretty nice.”

“This week is the only week I have had consistent, accurate temperatures in the room. There is usually no heat and the room can be as cold as 48 degrees when first period begins. There are other times when the temperature fluctuates all day, being overwhelmingly hot and then blowing cold air dropping the temp. back down into the low 60s.”

“Vents are full of dust that is blown through the room. After it heats, the blowers move colder air for the afternoon.”

“You can only increase up/down 4 degrees.”

“This is a seasonal problem in my classroom. Nearly every year, I lose heat in the winter at some point.”

“For the past two weeks, HVAC units in many B-Wing classrooms were not producing heat. Cold air was being pushed out of the HVAC units until 12-1pm. This is the second winter where my classroom is just as cold as the outside. While I have too much cold air now, the HVAC units won’t produce enough cold air during the warmer months. I urge the district to address this problem and then allow teachers to set temperatures in their classrooms that are most conducive to learning.”

“Classrooms should at least be equipped with portable heaters in case the system is not working. I placed a work order for portable heaters twice for my department and they never showed up.”

Photo by News Editor Lucille Njoo

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