Students and staff at Delcastle Technical High School in the New Castle County Vo-Tech School District have been sitting in classrooms with unbearable heat for over a week. But the district is refusing to fix the real problem.
When students returned to school on August 27th, it was hot as Hades in the school. Because of that, students were given a half day on August 28th. The district claimed they needed a part and it was fixed. But it wasn’t fixed and students and staff are suffering as a result. Students have not been allowed to leave early since the district announced they “fixed” the issue.
When the problem wasn’t fixed by August 30th, the students had a four-day weekend. As of today, September 4th there is still no air-conditioning at Delcastle High School. So aside from the air-conditioning unit obviously not working, what is the major malfunction?
The district doesn’t want to pay for the repairs to the machine. Sources say the machine is ancient. The district is actually waiting until cooler weather arrives. With temperatures forecasted to remain in the 80s and up into the latter part of next week, along with humidity and the accompanying higher heat index, the students and staff feel like they are in a broiler oven. And then there is that thing that happens EVERY YEAR called Indian Summer, the last burst of warm weather before it does finally cool down in October. A month from now.
As their children are sweating through school, parents are fuming. They don’t understand why their kids have to suffer while Howard High School gets tons of money poured into it for crown molding. Of course, some folks think it is okay for students in the 21st Century to sit in conditions like this. But in a 50-year-old building, in a school district that generally gets more money than most districts, it is unacceptable. Are the folks in the district office making these decisions in the same conditions? Yeah, we all know that answer!
UPDATED, 11:31am, 9/6: Apparently the school let the air conditioning unit run all night to cool down the building. It had no change and students and staff are still operating in unbearable heat. Send the kids home, buy a new A/C unit, and open the school back up when the building is at normal levels!
UPDATED, 6:10pm, 9/6: There is no school for students tomorrow due to the Delaware Primary but teachers have a Professional Development Day. Multiple reports indicate the first floor is tolerable but the second and third floors are scorching hot. Every year, when teachers come in before students for the district, they go to Delcastle. But this year they went to Howard High School of Technology which was just refurbished and renovated. Many sources have talked about the insane amount of money the district spent on crown molding. Meanwhile, Delcastle students and staff feel like they stepped into a sauna. Which is ok on a cold Winter day for a little while. But not in the Summer.
Commenters on social media have said the kids should just suck it up. One said the problem is very expensive and isn’t a one-day fix. I responded that the district should have tested the unit out over the summer to see how it was working. That should be standard protocol in all Delaware schools when students aren’t there. You don’t start running it the first day students get back and hope and pray it works. Having worked in a warehouse with no air-conditioning, I can relate to the denizens of Delcastle High!