Kanawha County Schools working to replace aging HVAC units

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Classes were canceled again Thursday at Riverside High School in Kanawha County. School system leaders say it’s because of a problem with the HVAC system. Plans are in the works to replace several aging air conditioning systems across the county.

dr. Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Tom Williams said the crew has replaced about half of Riverside’s air conditioning units so far. Work continues to completely replace the old system.

“We have some HVAC issues,” Williams said. “Our buildings are old and our units are old.”

Crews were working on air conditioning repairs at Sissonville Middle and Alum Creek Elementary this week. At Riverside High School, classrooms have been empty for the past two days due to air conditioning problems.

“It’s hard to believe, but it’s been open for 22 or 23 years now,” Williams said. “It opened in 1998. So the unit was shot down and that’s why we’re replacing it.”

Across the province, the surplus levy finances new units for a total of fifteen schools. Federal COVID funds will be used to replace systems in 13 additional schools.

In the meantime, Williams said they are doing their best to keep classrooms cool so students can be at school.

“We put them together as much as possible because they are expensive and we do as much as we can with maintenance,” he said. “But then they get to the point where they don’t even sell parts anymore. So we are prepared for that.”

As for the timeline for the complete replacement of Riverside High School’s air conditioning system, Williams said work started early in the summer and will continue throughout the year.

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