Temperatures, roof construction cause distractions

Kirsten Buchanan

Fans like this dot the school, trying to fan out the heat. Photo by Daphne Yu.
The average high for this time of year is 55 degrees according to The Weather Channel. However, with the weather this week topping 80 degrees, problems are arising as temperatures inside RBHS climb.
According to email sent by Jennifer Mast, there is a set schedule for when the air conditioning system can run. She said the earliest they could turn on the air conditioning would be late next week, but they plan to start running the system over Spring Break.
This proves a problem for areas of RBHS, such as the media center, tend to get overheated. Media Specialist Dennis Murphy said while the library can heat up and become uncomfortable for students, their main concern is the server room adjacent to the media center.
“Our server room is at 78 right now, which is not bad. I’ve seen this room get up to the 90s before because of the heat generated,” Murphy said. “When it gets that hot, condensation can cause our system to fail. When it fails [the whole server] goes down.”
The server room has its own system to try to keep it cool, but that is not true of the media center. The temperatures there have hovered around 80 degrees the whole day.
“We have fans that we have running to try to circulate the air. When I came in this morning at around 6 o’clock the media center was pretty hot, so I opened the doors to the hallways,” Murphy said. “The problem with the media center, why it heats up so much, is because of all the computers.”
In addition to the warm temperatures, students in the Studies wing are also dealing with a repulsive smell. One material construction workers are using to repair the roof causes the scent, and Mast said there is no other substance they can use.
The smell is distracting students from their work, but Mast said the only way they could improve the situation would be by closing dampers which help cool the school.  They are checking the availability of fans to help deal with the heat and smell, but conditions are not likely to improve much until after Spring Break. She encourages teachers to take classes outside and find other solutions to the temporary problems.
“I was in Honors U.S. fourth hour with Swift and Fisher and we had to go outside at the end of class because we just couldn’t handle it,” junior Erica Beck said. “It smelled like fumes. It was terrible.”
By Kirsten Buchanan