All of the buildings in the Fort Wayne Community Schools district were built between 1902 and 1976, which means some of them don’t have air conditioning. Temperatures are in the 80s this week, and the heat can make it hard for students to concentrate.
Some of the older Fort Wayne Community Schools buildings were constructed without air conditioning in mind, and retrofitting the schools for these units can be difficult and costly.
School Spokeswoman Krista Stockman says 16 schools have partial or no air conditioning, but she says they are working to add it to more buildings.
“Our main goal is to make sure kids are learning, and so whatever we can do to make that a better learning environment, then that’s what we’re going to do,” she said.
Stockman says that the schools’ first attempt at getting funding in 2007 to install air conditioning in all of the buildings was rejected by voters in a referendum. A $119 million plan was approved in 2012, and so far it has allowed the school system to add air conditioning to 14 buildings. Two more schools will have air conditioning by fall of 2016.
Stockman says she knows the situation isn’t ideal.
“We know that it’s—these are not optimal learning conditions, that’s why we want to have all of our buildings air conditioned,” Stockman said. “It’s just, it takes time to do that.”
Stockman says they hope to have another referendum next year to add air conditioning to even more schools.
Until then, she encourages students to bring water bottles and dress in weather appropriate clothing.