San Juan school directors meet with legislator to find solutions for overheated classrooms
By The Star Staff
In order to continue coordinating measures to mitigate the historic heat wave experienced in Puerto Rico, San Juan District 4 Rep. Víctor Parés Otero called the school directors in the district he serves to a summit meeting.
“The goal of this meeting was to establish the parameters for supporting the 11 schools in our district in their work to mitigate the effect of the historic heat wave that we experienced without affecting the education of our children, which has suffered since the scourge of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017,” Parés Otero said in a written statement. “We seek that the installation of fans -- an intermediate step in solving the problem -- be carried out quickly and with the safety needed so that classes are not disturbed.”
The meeting, held Monday at University High School in San Juan, was also attended by personnel from the Municipality of San Juan as well as the Public Buildings Authority and the Office for the Improvement of Public Schools, among others.
“The heat problem is all over the world,” the lawmaker said. “In the United States, about 36,000 schools do not have air conditioning. States such as Pennsylvania have invested over $24 billion in recent weeks to equip around 2,000 schools with these units, as well as to expand the capacity of electrical substations so that they can withstand the new load. We are doing the same thing here. In our district we are going to install air conditioners in all classrooms and we are already working on that, but in what becomes a reality, temporary measures are being taken, such as fans, greater access to drinking water, carrying out some activities that before took place outdoors, in ventilated rooms, among other initiatives.”
Among the school directors who participated in the event were those from the Amalia Marín Castilla and Rafael Hernández Marín schools, among others.
The New Progressive Party legislator announced that he will schedule a follow-up meeting in the coming weeks to evaluate the progress of heat mitigation measures at the schools in the district.