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May 21, 2019

City pols ask Mayor to speed cooling of schools as opening week heat wave makes classrooms unbearable

September 29, 2018
Treyger said the city schools are too hot and the situation is only getting worse. (txking / Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Cool it down.

That’s the message City Council members had for Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza as public school students roasted in the sweltering temperatures during the first week of school that started Wednesday.

Councilman Mark Tregyer (D-Brooklyn), who chairs the Education Committee, and Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson (D-Bronx), who heads up the Capital Budget subcommittee, called on the city to speed installation of air conditioning units to overheated classrooms in a letter sent to Carranza, de Blasio and School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo on Thursday.

The lawmakers urged de Blasio and Carranza to advance the city’s ongoing program to install air conditioning units in all classrooms to completion in 2019 from 2022, the current deadline for the $28.75 million program begun in 2017.

Treyger said the city schools are too hot and the situation is only getting worse.

“This is a public health issue,” Treyger said. “The funding is in place, but the implementation has been painfully slow and inadequate. We’re calling on the mayor and the chancellor and the School Construction Authority to make this a priority.”

Treyger said he received complaints from schools reporting classroom temperatures of more than 100 degrees as the city suffered through a heat wave in the first days of the new school year, which interfered with teaching and learning.

City Education Department spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said the city has installed air conditioning units in 2,750 classrooms in the past year.

“Students must be in a comfortable environment to learn, and we issued guidance to schools on keeping rooms cool and ensuring students stay hydrated,” Barbot said. “Currently, 80% of classrooms have working air conditioning, and we are investing $28.75 million to have AC in all classrooms by 2022.”

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