Glastonbury school board considers spending millions on air cond - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Glastonbury school board considers spending millions on air conditioning

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Glastonbury school board considers spending millions on air conditioning (WFSB) Glastonbury school board considers spending millions on air conditioning (WFSB)

A Connecticut school district is considering spending millions of dollars to beat the heat.

The Glastonbury Board of Education is looking at possibly putting air conditioning units in four different schools.

The project could cost about $8.6 million, but the superintendent said it would be money well spent.

Toward the end of the summer, temperatures soared just as the school year was beginning.

School Superintendent Alan Bookman said the heat created a really difficult environment for students.

“It's miserable, it's miserable. You go into the school and see an incredible difference in the level of the learning that's going on,” Bookman said.

This is why he said he supports installing air conditioning in four Glastonbury schools.

“We spend a great deal of money on education,” he said. “To spend all that money on education and then not put them in some kind of situation where they could learn the most that they can doesn't make any sense.”

Early estimates show the units would be added to three elementary schools and the Gideon Welles Middle School.

Right now, all of the school board members support at least looking into it.

“We feel it's a priority for our students so that they can learn their best so that our teachers can do their best, and so that we can have the incredibly successful school system that we do have,” said Board of Education Chairwoman Susan Karp.

On Monday night, the board of education approved a $50,000 study to learn more, but the idea is hardly a stone cold lock.

The town council would have to approve a referendum on the plan, and not every taxpayer thinks it is a good idea.

“It seems like an awful lot of money, I mean if the windows open, they didn't cancel school when I was a kid when it got hot out,” said Donald Flynn, of Glastonbury.

A lot of details would still have to be worked out, including the timing of the project and who would pay for it.

There were other school districts in the state who canceled classes because of hot weather.

Both Southington and New Britain district officials said they have no plans to add air conditioning.

The Waterbury school district officials said they are looking into it.

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