Numerous Central Florida schools dealing with A/C issues

By Greg Pallone, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, August 22, 2014, 7:24 PM EDT

Students and staff members at schools across Central Florida are trying to beat the heat which isn't easy to do considering many facilities are dealing with broken air conditioners and other equipment issues.

It's been a warm start to the school year here at Melbourne High -- the air conditioning system has failed 10 times so far.

Other Brevard schools are seeing cooling problems as well -- Apollo Elementary in Titusville had an electrical transformer blow -- disrupting power and knocking out the air conditioning.

The school system says a new transformer is expected to arrive and be installed by tomorrow.

Space Coast Junior Senior, plus Lockmar and University Park Elementary schools had failed compressors -- repairs are underway.

A failed compressor is causing issues at the main school district building in Viera -- cost is ranging around 148-thousand dollars.

The A/C system at Bayside High in Palm Bay has experienced multiple failures -- while repairs are underway.

And repairs here at Melbourne High are done -- the A/C system is working at the moment.

We're told the repair staff has been working seven days a week to fix problems as the school year began just this week.

Dr. Phillips high school in Orlando has also seen its fair share of cooling-related issues.

Orange County Public School officials say this year OCPS purchased their annual replacement of 108 buses based on the planned replacement cycle. After the buses are built by the factory, another company installs the air conditioning systems.

Already, they say, approximately 10 buses have experienced issues with the A/C systems in the front of the bus. However, the buses have A/C running in the rear of the bus and run them at the normal set point for comfort. This represents 1% of the buses serving students.

As a precaution, the AC vendor, RAC, has flown technicians in from the factory in North Carolina and additional technicians from their facility in New York to fix the issues with these buses, and as a precaution, checking all other buses purchased this year. Should any of the 10 buses not meet services standards for comfort, they will be removed from service and replaced with spares.

Officials say this is a normal process that occurs every day in which they plan for 5% of buses to require service and provide a spare bus on any given day.

A complete list of schools dealing with air conditioning issues is included below:

In Brevard County, multiple schools are facing similar issues:

  • Apollo ES – An electrical transformer failed causing a disruption in electrical power as well as loss of air conditioning. A generator is on site and both power and air conditioning service has been restored. A transformer was ordered and shipped via air freight which will be installed by tomorrow.
  • Space Coast J/SHS, University Park ES, Lockmar ES  – These air conditioning systems each have one failed compressor. Since these are multiple compressor systems, altering the start times (earlier) for these sites has been utilized to manage temperatures until repairs are completed.
  • ESF – The air conditioning system has one failed compressor. Although this system has multiple compressors, merely altering start times did not provide sufficient compensation. The air flow has been “balanced” to allow a greater quantity of air to the perimeter, and t-stat settings were adjusted. Repairs are underway at a cost of $148K.
  • Bayside HS – The air conditioning system has multiple failures. To compensate earlier start times were implemented however, this proved inadequate. The boiler (for re-heat) has also been disabled, allowing a slight improvement in the temperatures today. Repairs are underway.
  • Melbourne HS – The air conditioning system for building 10 had multiple failures and repairs have been recently completed.

One Volusia County school reported issues with air conditioning:

  • Debary Elementary School, 88 W. Highbanks Rd. Debary: The Thursday and Sunday before school started the a/c unit was struck by lightning and fixed both times. The only issue that the county is experiencing is making sure that the older AC units are keeping the classrooms at an appropriate temperature.

Seminole County officials have reported issues:

  • Lawton Chiles Middle School, 1240 Sanctuary Dr. Oviedo. On August 21, the school had one classroom that wasn’t being used and the temperature in that one room wasn’t as cool as it should have been, so the AC unit was being looked at.

Orange County is having issues at only one school so far:

  • Dr. Phillips High School, 6500 Turkey Lake Rd, Orlando. Issues with air conditioning in portables and throughout the school prompted the principal to call parents with a prerecorded message.

Osceola County Public Schools have confirmed that no air conditioning issues have been reported.