Parents, students steamed after AC breaks in brand new school

Posted at 7:47 AM, May 14, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Some concerned parents and workers at Richmond's brand new MLK Middle said they were shocked when the schools air conditioner broke on what was one of the hottest days of the year. The school has only been open a little more than four months.

Students, like 8th grader Amari Young-El, said teacher allowed them to open classroom windows, however that did not cool off the rooms too much.

"I believe it’s unacceptable," MLK parent Mecca White said. "It can affect one’s ability to work to their fullest potential. If you are hot then it’s a distraction. If you are not comfortable, it’s a distraction.”

Monday's high temperature was 90 degrees. On Tuesday, temperatures hit 94 degrees.

Frustrated school workers and parents called CBS 6 News to investigate the problem.

A Richmond Public Schools spokesperson confirmed the school's HVAC had issues.

"The HVAC system at Martin Luther King Jr. shut down due to a communication issue within the HVAC system," Cletisha Lovelace wrote in a statement. "The district's Facility Services department began working on the problem yesterday and had the system up and running this morning [Tuesday]. We expect work to continue tomorrow [Wednesday] to ensure the system is fully operational."

Lovelace said the HVAC unit is under warranty and the school system did not have to pay for repairs.

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