AISD: 90 schools have submitted work orders for heating issues

Reagan High School in Austin (KXAN Photo)
Reagan High School in Austin (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Students at Austin ISD’s Reagan High School arrived back from winter break to cold classrooms — and KXAN learned they’re not the only ones.

AISD says it has received heat-related work orders from 90 of its 130 schools. It’s important to note that heating may not be out at entire schools. Work orders may be submitted for just a particular wing or one classroom. But, at this time, the specifics have not been released.

After KXAN brought several complaints about the situation at Reagan High School to AISD, the school district released the following statement on Wednesday:

“AISD maintenance staff began preparing the building before the new year, however, the prolonged below freezing temperatures have impacted heating systems at many of our schools. All technicians and contractors have been deployed to the field and all issues will be addressed as soon as possible. As always, the safety of our students is our top priority and our administrators will continue to monitor the progress.

  • Campus administrators submit work orders to the district maintenance department in order to deploy a team of staff and contractors to remedy any issues.
  • AISD maintenance staff started running heating systems throughout the weekend and worked through New Year’s Day to get facilities ready for the first day of school. However, prolonged below freezing temperatures added stress to heating systems, in particular, the boilers, that have caused issues at campuses.
  • Please keep in mind at some campuses it may be one room or portable affected by heating issues.”

“In the morning, it was so freezing,” Reagan High School freshman Maryam Algburi told KXAN.

In fact, it was the coldest morning in a full year. The first day back, students at Reagan are finding it even harder to concentrate. “We go to the school, some of the classes, it was very cold. So like, we have to wear [a] coat,” Algburi said.

A tipster told KXAN in one of the classrooms the thermostat was reading anywhere from 42 to 50 degrees. Algburi said the low temperatures made it difficult to write.

Sophomore Kawthar Brahem said one of her teachers handed out hot water bottles to students to warm their hands. “‘Cause it’s so cold in the class,” she said.

While AISD says boilers were back on at Reagan by 1:30 in the afternoon, Austin High School, for example, still has one offline. The second boiler is expected to be fixed Thursday morning after a part is delivered.

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