The first phase of a plan to bring air conditioning (A/C) to all LBUSD schools is starting this fall, with installation of portable classrooms at four “hub” sites, where some students will temporarily attend while their home school is modernized.
The LBUSD Facilities staff is fast-tracking a three-year plan to complete air conditioning at the first group of schools in greatest need. Over the next eight years, all schools will be outfitted with A/C and necessary infrastructure improvements.
Long Beach voters last November overwhelmingly approved Measure E, a $1.5 billion school bond initiative to upgrade and repair LBUSD schools. The funding includes about $700 million for A/C and related construction.
Of the district’s 85 schools, 34 schools (40 percent) now have full A/C, while the remaining 51 schools have limited A/C or outdated units. Most of the latter group are schools that were built more than 40 years ago and do not have infrastructure capability for A/C.
In addition to the “hub” schools getting new portables, existing portables are being put back in use at the Monroe site to temporarily house displaced students. Also, Browning High School will be used to temporarily accommodate Rogers Middle School eighth graders beginning in January 2018.
For schools that do not yet have air conditioning, the school district will continue to implement its usual interim measures during hot weather. This includes planning strenuous activities for cooler parts of the day, limiting time outside during peak heat, and encouraging students to remain hydrated.
As always, parents have the authority to remove their child from school if they feel compelled to do so because of heat, and students will be allowed to make up school work.
When needed, support staff will open up non-air-conditioned classrooms in early morning to allow trapped heat to escape.