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Parents concerned with inconsistent heat at Petersburg High School

Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 7:24 PM EST
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PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - Over the last three weeks, Petersburg High School students have been learning from home after the school’s heat pump burst on Jan. 4, leaving parts of the school without heat.

One parent said their student was told to wear multiple jackets when coming to school by the administration. Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin, division superintendent, says the school district is aware of the heating issue and is actively working on it.

“So when the heat pump first burst - it was definitely out, meaning that there was no heat being distributed in the building,” Pitre-Martin said. “Since then, we have repaired two heat pumps, which is now giving heat throughout the building.”

Pitre-Martin said the heat pump was the original unit installed in the school building almost 50 years ago, and throughout the year’s maintenance, work has been done on it.

She said with the repair work that has been done over the last few weeks; the school division felt comfortable bringing students back in on Monday.

School officials said they are now having the inconsistency of heat in classrooms. Pitre-Martin said in some classrooms, it may be hot in the morning but becomes cold in the afternoon.

Staff is checking classroom temperatures twice a day. If a classroom becomes too cold, students are moved to another area of the building.

While work has been done on the pump, the school division is still waiting on one more piece to come in and return heat to all parts of the building.

The superintendent said, for now, parts of the building, like the library that are not getting a heat, will remain closed for students.

Another issue the school faces is the loss of heat through windows.

Pitre-Martin said they hope the piece will come in next week, but a new pump replacement will not happen until students are out of the building this summer.

“The long-term goal is when there are definitely no students in the building for a couple of months, we can replace all of those heat pumps,” Pitre-Martin said.

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