By Justin Schmidt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Due to sweltering heat, classes are often dismissed early during those critical late summer days when classes are just beginning.
The Kansas City School District is taking steps to provide air conditioning at Northeast and East high schools and Banneker Elementary School. Those are the last three schools in the district without air conditioning and some have been outraged that the district closed schools with air conditioning rather than those without it.
Bonds will cover the cost of the more than $30 million to add air conditioning as well as other amenities. Brighter lights, new computers, new chairs and desks, better temperature control and other technology will greet students when they return to classes this fall.
Current and former students have miserable memories of sweating profusely and having trouble concentrating when the temperatures soar and classrooms become ovens.
"We'd have windows open. Fans on. At a certain point, it gets up to 85 degrees in the classroom," said Darrel Meyer, executive director of operations for the Kansas City School District. "It's hard to have a good learning environment."
The hope is the upgrades will boost student achievement.
The board and administrators are also tackling deferred maintenance and upgrades to sports stadiums. The district hopes to save money by lowering maintenance costs.
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