MCPS heating issues extend winter break
Mecklenburg County Public School students experienced and extended holiday break with school being cancelled on Thursday and Friday which was supposed be the students first days back.
The reasoning behind the extended vacations is due to multiple school facilities experiencing issues with the heating systems because of the extreme cold weather recently.
The first schedule hindrance the cold temperatures caused was on Wednesday when teachers were issued a one hour delay for their teacher work day due to the heating issues.
Later on Wednesday a two hour delay was issued for Thursday and Friday for students due to the extreme cold temperatures and heating issues.
Within a couple of hours from when the two hour delay was announced Mecklenburg County School administrators updated Thursday’s delay to a closure because of the continuing heating issues at several school facilities.
Superintendent Paul Nichols said the most significant heating system issues are evident at Park View Middle School.
Nichols said the sixth grade annex of PVMS was not able to reach temperatures of over 50 degrees on Wednesday.
Brian Dalton Mecklenburg County Public School’s Maintenance Supervisor and his maintenance crew were monitoring all the school facilities heating systems throughout the winter break.
Nichols said despite the systems running smoothly during the beginning of the break the recent “extreme cold blast overwhelmed the systems.”
According to Nichols, Dalton and his crew spent the day and most of the night working until 11 p.m. on Wednesday repairing the pipes and furnaces at PVMS.
In addition to the major heating system issues at PVMS maintenance workers are also addressing issues with individual classroom heating ventilation at a few of the older elementary schools and Park View High School.
The major concern at the moment is getting PVMS heating system fully functional and making sure the students are provided a safe and warm environment in each of the school facilities, Nichols said.
Not only does Nichols feel it important for the students to be warm in school, but he said he will continue to delay school as needed because he does not want students to be outside waiting for the bus when the temperature is in the teens or lower.
Nichols said he hopes to see the school schedule back to normal for the students next week, but he is going to continue to monitor the temperatures and the heating systems repair progress because “we want to know the band aids are going to hold.”