School board supports air conditioning unit installations in Wa- - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

School board supports air conditioning unit installations in Wa-Hi classrooms

Posted: Updated:

WALLA WALLA, WA - The days of 90 degree temperatures in many of Walla Walla High School's classrooms during warm days are coming to an end following recent support by the school board to install window air conditioning units in the school's Academic and Science buildings. The approximately $150,000 price tag for the project will be funded from one-time dollars generated from higher than anticipated enrollment during the 2015-2016 school year.

Board members also considered installing new central air conditioning throughout the school with an estimated cost in excess of $1 million, and another $500,000 plus option featuring a split-system air conditioning approach. Both of these longer-term, permanent options exceed available resources.

"Our long-range plan is to modernize Walla Walla High School, but we must value and recognize today's students will benefit greatly from this limited improvement," said Superintendent Wade Smith. "Clearly this is not a perfect, nor long-term solution, but this short-term fix is a step in the right direction to providing our students an environment conducive to learning,"

The approved window-type units will be mounted above the classroom doors or in windows depending on the location. The necessary updates to the Walla Walla High School's 53-year-old electrical system and the air conditioning unit installations will be completed this fall. The anticipated useful life of the wall units ranges from five to seven years.

"Although these units will not serve our long-term needs, they will serve to provide some level of reprieve for thousands of students over the next few years," said School Board President Cindy Meyer.