Too cool for school? Never. Central High adds air conditioning to classrooms

Alumni donated an icy gift to high schoolers: 'Project Cool Breeze'

Mike DeNardo
August 22, 2018 - 8:40 pm
Air conditioning units

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — We're still in the heat of August, but when students return to class next week to one Philadelphia school, they'll do so in cool comfort. 

Central High School President Tim McKenna said air conditioning units are being installed in all 70 classrooms, courtesy of the 228th graduating class from 1969.

"They're coming up on their 50th reunion, and they wanted to make a gift to the school," he said, which they named "Project Cool Breeze."

The alumni donated half of the $90,000 cost, and the Home and School Association and Central raised the rest.  

McKenna noted this will be the first time since the school was built in 1937 that all 70 classrooms will have air conditioning.

"I know there'll be a lot of smiling faces on Monday when students enter the building," he said. "And for the first time, they'll be going into cool classrooms."

The School District of Philadelphia reported about 40 percent of its school buildings have air-conditioned classrooms.

"I walked in on Aug. 20 and it was freezing," said social studies teacher Michael Horwits proudly as he adjusted the temperature on the new window air conditioner in his classroom.  

Horwits said students in the 81-year-old school building will appreciate not having to endure the summer heat during their studies.

"It's one less distraction," he said. "They can focus on academics, on spirit."

About half of the units are installed already, with the other half expected by the second week of school.