Sun Valley HS students return to class with no heat

UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Students at Sun Valley High School in Monroe returned from their winter break Tuesday with no heat.

Union County Public School officials say the main building of the school had no heat for about an hour and a half. That part of the building contains several classrooms and administrative offices.

"I had a blanket, so I was bundled up in my blanket the whole entire time," student Naiva Simpson said.

Officials say they checked all schools Monday to make sure the heat was working properly for students' return. They say between Monday and Tuesday morning something went wrong with the heat at Sun Valley High School and at about six other Union County schools.

"I think it's kind of ridiculous that we were in a class without heat when it is literally like 14 degrees outside in the morning. I was very unhappy with it," Simpson said.

Students who didn't want to be identified in fear of retaliation say conditions inside their classrooms were unbearable. They say it was freezing.

"You can't concentrate in any class. It's just too cold. Your fingers are cold. Your hands are cold," one student said.

Eventually the heat was restored at all schools and no other issues were reported. While the heat was off students say rules were broken at Sun Valley High School so their classmates could stay warm inside the school.

"Normally don't allow them to have their hats and hoods on. They allowed it today," one student said.

The school issued the following statement to parents Tuesday afternoon:


District leaders say there was a control issue with the heat at Sun Valley High School that caused the heat not to work. A maintenance crew checked the system Tuesday at Sun Valley High and fixed the problem.

The district says the heat was turned back on in about 90 minutes, but students say they didn't feel it.

"In some of my classes yes and then I heard in other classes no, that it still feels exactly like it did before," Simpson said.

Students also say heat wasn't the only problem Sun Valley High School experienced Tuesday.

"Pipes were burst. It was flooding in my art room and so we had to report to the Media Center where it was still cold," one student said.

District officials confirm there was an issue with a pipe inside a classroom, but say it wasn't weather related.

Sun Valley High School is located on Charlotte Highway in Monroe. It is more than 50 years old. Parts are old but a bond referendum that passed back in 2016 will give the school a makeover including a new HVAC system.

Union County school leaders are not anticipating any heat problems when classes resume Wednesday.

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