CMS still trying to get heat back on at all schools

School struggling to keep classrooms warm

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) are still dealing with heating problems at a few schools. On Monday parents and employees said there were still some uncomfortable conditions at a few schools. Employees told us Ashley Park PreK-8 school had some issues on Monday as well as Tuckaseegee Elementary School. The school district sent this statement about concerns at several schools.

"CMS facilities and building staff continue to address HVAC issues in schools and buildings related to cold weather,"  CMS Media Specialist Vickie Grooms said. "Some campuses are experiencing issues in isolated rooms or areas and teacher and students are being relocated to warm areas to continue learning throughout the school day. The great majority of issues identified have been resolved, and CMS will provide an update at the end of the day today on these efforts."

Tuckaseegee Elementary School parent Carol Shipes didn't find out about how cold it was in her first grader's classroom until her child came home from school Monday.

"When she got in this morning," CMS Parent Carol Shipes said. "That the teacher told her to keep her coat on cause the classrooms were kind of cold this morning."

Her daughter kept her coat on all day just to stay warm.

"Being kind of chilly can be bothersome," the mother said.

CMS says various issues are reasons why some schools still don't have heat. The district says crews continue to be on the clock until the heat is working properly at all 176 CMS.

"They still need to get it fixed," Shipes said. "Whatever the school is."

The school district says during this cold weather it does leave the heat on at schools but when the schools are unoccupied, workers drop the temperature inside the schools to 65 degrees during freezing weather. CMS says most buildings in Mecklenburg County drop the temperature to 70 degrees in unoccupied buildings when temperatures are between 20-22 degrees outside.

Thelma Byers-Bailey is concerned several schools have experienced heating problems.

"I am disappointed CMS didn't figure out the heating problems sooner," CMS School Board Member Thelma Byers-Bailey said.

Byers-Bailey is chair of CMS' facilities committee. She says she will bring up the heating issue at the next facilities committee meeting.

CMS says about 50 schools experienced heating problems when students returned from their winter break. The school district still doesn't have a breakdown of how much the repairs will cost taxpayers.

"CMS will calculate investment in remedies once all work is completed, but priority of staff right now is on maintaining HVAC in good working order and making repairs in cases remaining," Grooms said.

A request was made to interview CMS' Chief Operating Officer. She is in charge of making sure heat works properly inside all schools, but was told she was unavailable.

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