Uncomfortable Temperatures Affect Learning in Annex Classrooms

By Joanne Lee ’15
As the heater pumps hot air into room A320 at full blast after winter recess, some students complain and learning is affected.
According to Mr. Glenn Elert, AP physics B teacher, before winter recess A320 was unusually cold. After he reported the problem to the assistant principal, the custodian tried to fix it over break. After the winter recess A320 became like a “sauna,” Elert described.
Without the windows or doors opened, the temperature can go up to as high as 95°F.
“To give you some perspective on it, Shawn was in class in tank tops and shorts,” said Eniola Abdul ’15. “He was still drenched in sweat.”
To cope with the problem, windows and doors were opened and the temperature was down to between 80°F and 85°F.
“If it can stay as cool as it is now at 80 degrees, I’ll be a happy person,” said Abdul.
While some students are not as affected, other students have complained about the heat and how it affects their learning
“When I sit in the classroom, I can’t concentrate on the materials as well because the extreme heat is very distracting,” said Michelle Zak ’15. “The high temperature clogs up my nose and I can’t breathe right.”
Mr. Elert said, “The students say that it’s too hot in here and they open the windows, but it gets too cold for the students near the windows. We shut the windows and then it gets too hot and we play this game all over again.”
A320 is not the only room with a heating problem. The temperature in A119 fluctuates depending on the temperature outside. As the temperature got lower outside so did the temperature in room A119. According to Ms. Gloria Aklipi, AP psychology teacher, Mr. Tovia Rosenfeld, assistant principal for sciences, had a student monitor measure the temperature in that room on a really cold day reading 52°F. Ms. Kimberly Lau, chemistry teacher, said the librarian left a thermometer in the room one day during first and second period and it read temperatures in the 40s. During eighth period, the temperature raised to the mid-50s.
“There is no heat in that room. It is very uncomfortable and is a distraction from learning,” said Ms. Aklipi. “The students keep complaining that it is really cold.” To escape the cold room, Ms. Aklipi had her class move to room A318 where it was warmer.
According to Mr. John Esposito, chemistry teacher, the temperature in rooms A315 and A300 is in the 60s. Rooms A115 and A314 are occasionally cold, and room 4N in the north wing has no heat either.
“I’m anemic so I get cold easily,” said Charlynn Chan ’15, a student who has class in A314. “If it’s too cold all the time, it’s really hard for me to concentrate in class.”
The problem with the heating system in the annex is beyond what the custodians do so they can’t repair it. Additionally, the school has no control over the annex building. According to Frank Zapata, custodial engineer, the rooftop units which are devices that control the ventilation, air conditioning, and heating in the annex are not working correctly for all three floors because of electrical problems.
“The annex has been a problem since day one,” said Zapata. “Technicians are called and constantly working on them at the moment.”

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