Public schools in Baton Rouge continued to have intermittent air conditioning outages Tuesday and one school, Progress Elementary, closed for repairs and sent kids to an alternate location.
Northdale Superintendent’s Academy, 10755 Cletus Drive, was about to close when the air conditioning failed there, but it was restored late Tuesday morning and classes resumed, said Adonica Duggan, spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Parish school system.
Air conditioning was back online at all other schools, except Progress, by lunchtime and Progress’s air conditioning was restored during the afternoon, Duggan said. Schools with less severe air conditioning problems moved students around within their buildings until air conditioning was restored, she said.
“We have the appropriate service providers working to address all of the issues as they arise,” Duggan said.
Tuesday’s outages come after an air conditioning outage Monday at McKinley High School that forced nearly 1,500 students to spend all or part of the school day in the still air-conditioned gym and auditorium. That school’s air conditioning is back online.
Progress and Northdale are much smaller than McKinley High. Progress Elementary has about 375 students and Northdale has about 170 students.
Progress students were bused to New Light Missionary Baptist Church, 650 Blount Road, though only about 40 children made the move to the church with some parents opting to pick up their kids instead, Duggan said.
Unlike the other schools with air-conditioning issues, Progress Elementary is a new building that opened in fall 2013. The two-story elementary school cost $18 million to build and is located at 855 Progress Road.
Duggan said the hot weather in some cases is proving too much for the schools’ air conditioning systems to consistently handle.
“The extreme weather pattern is extremely taxing on systems designed for 95-degree heat, and when you factor in many days in triple digits there are inevitable equipment failures,” Duggan said. “We are working to ensure the safety and comfort of our students as we address these issues in as timely a manner as possible.”