Kaiser considers moves in light of broken AC, Longs to lend fans for band room

Kaiser High School

With no sign of the hot muggy weather going away anytime soon, Kaiser High School is reconsidering options on what to do about the band room’s broken air conditioner.

We first told you about the problem after a viewer notified us via Report It.

The band room is insulated with no windows to keep it soundproof, and the air conditioner has been broken for almost two weeks.

We wanted to know why it’s taking so long to get the air conditioner fixed, and why the school isn’t holding the classes in another room?

On Tuesday, KHON2 spoke with school officials and learned there are changes in the works to help the students. The school is also getting some help from the community.

While other air conditioners are also in need of repair, the one in the band room is top priority. The thermometer inside reads 92 degrees with the room empty and classes can have anywhere from 50 to 150 students at a time.

“Some of the band students are my friends and they can’t even function,” said 10th grader Taylin Park. “It’s super hot and one time the teacher had to give them popsicles to make them cooler.”

What can the state do about Hawaii’s hot classrooms? It’s a question we’ve been pressing education officials to answer as keiki and teachers sweat it out during this hot and muggy weather. On Tuesday, the Department of Education discussed possible solutions.

Things that can happen right away include roof improvements to reflect and prevent heat from entering the classroom, ceiling fans, and something called “nighttime thermal flushing.” The DOE says it’s trying that out at several schools, including Campbell High School, as part of a pilot project.

As for medium-term solutions, officials are considering upgrading electrical systems, and installing air conditioning in classrooms where the immediate solutions fall short.

The DOE will also send a clearly identified priority list outlining its plans and needs to the board, the governor and the legislature.

A teacher said a student fainted Monday while inside the band room. She was taken to the health room and went home.

“I’m worried because they have to drink a lot of water and stay hydrated but they’re kids so they don’t always remember,” said parent Kim Park.

A spokesman for the Department of Education says the part needed to fix the air conditioner is too big to ship overnight. It will take at least another week or two for it to arrive.

So school officials said Tuesday they are making some changes. There are actually five classrooms in the building and officials are looking at relocating them.

The vice principal says she is already discussing with the teachers the possibility of moving classes to the gym or cafeteria. It’s just a matter of the teachers agreeing on what is the best solution.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the school also said Longs Drugs wants to lend the school 20 fans that can be used in the band room. So for now, band and orchestra students will stay in that room with the hope that the fans can actually help.

KHON2 spoke with a doctor about the problem and he says the key is to make sure the kids stay hydrated “and obviously take breaks from the enclosed room so that you’re not exposed to that stale air from that period of time that becomes overheated,” said Dr. Kalani Brady from John A. Burns School of Medicine.

That’s something the band teacher is already doing, giving the students a five- to 10-minute break after 20 minutes inside the classroom.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s