Hawaii officials continue efforts to cool school spaces

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HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii officials are hoping to complete efforts to cool 1,000 classrooms before the start of the upcoming school year.

The state Department of Education announced the new timeline Friday, KHON-TV reported (http://bit.ly/2rF3K0C). Gov. David Ige had originally hoped the work would be finished by the end of last year.

Air conditioning units have been installed in 456 classrooms, said Dann Carlson, assistant superintendent of the Office of School Facilities and Support Services, on Friday.

"All contacts were awarded, well over 1,000," he said. "There was a clause that it should be done by June 30. We set that date knowing it would give us a buffer so by the time school starts, we would hit 1,000 classrooms."

The work was delayed by high numbers of bids for AC installation, budgetary concerns and aging infrastructure at schools, the department has said.

Air conditioning units have been installed in 456 classrooms, Carlson said.

The report says some classrooms will also be paired with solar panels and heat-reflective paints. Trees are also being planted in courtyards to provide shade as students walk to class, and cafeterias are being fitted with large ceiling fans.

"This is a good first step," said Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association. "There are going to be thousands of kids in school once it starts that will have ACs, and that is better than before."


Information from: KHON-TV, http://khon.com

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