By Taylor Morton
On October 24th, classrooms in the English Department of Brien McMahon High School reached temperatures close to 80 degrees. Papers stuck to arms, sweat drenched off students’ t-shirts, and folders were used as makeshift fans. The sudden spike in heat left faculty and students hot and uncomfortable.
Teachers felt that the heat was bothersome not only for them to teach in but very distracting for their students. Mr. Wrinn, an English teacher stated “the heat either makes them (the students) really sleepy and unmotivated or just frustrated.”
Ms. Molinelli, whose room reached 83.3 degrees, expressed that the unexpected rise in temperature is “too disruptive for people to be able to function at their greatest potential.”
So what is the cause of this intense heat?
The problem seems to be the weather not matching the facilities departments’ timeline with switching the air conditioning to heating.
On October 24th, the recorded outside temperature was 76.7 degrees fahrenheit, which is 10 degrees over the average temperature of October in Norwalk, which is 64 degrees. According to Bill Hodel, the Director of Facilities for Norwalk Public Schools, October 15th is when the switch is made from cooling to heating.
The seasons impact the internal building temperature because the vent settings are predetermined. Hodel explained that the vents receive signals from the Building Management System in which the temperatures of the conditioned air are set to.
Hodels says the target range for Norwalk Public Schools is generally from an estimated low of 72 to a high of 79 degrees. “People have individual preferences when it comes to room temperature, so it can be a challenge to meet all expectations” states Hodel.
If the outside temperatures are warmer than expected, the set temperatures may become too warm. The temperature of the school remains the same until Brien McMahon calls the central office and and the system signals the vents to cool down.