Philly school district announces plans to add air conditioning to more schools

Mike DeNardo
May 14, 2019 - 5:55 pm
Word that nearly two dozen Philadelphia schools were getting classroom air conditioners came during the district's budget hearings before City Council.

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There should be some cooler classrooms in Philadelphia schools soon as the district plans to add air conditioning to more schools next year. 

Word that nearly two dozen Philadelphia schools were getting classroom air conditioners came during the district's budget hearings before City Council.  

Superintendent William Hite says the district had been analyzing what it would cost to make electrical upgrades in its aging buildings.

"We've completed an assessment of our buildings and have identified 23 schools that currently have the electrical capacity to support air conditioners. As a result of that we are purchasing the air conditioners for all of the classrooms in those 23 schools," Hite said.   

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Hite says the air conditioners would be installed this fall and be ready for next spring. Only a fraction of Philadelphia schools have air conditioners, and several school days were called off last August when the district opened school during a heat wave.

During questioning from Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Hite also said there were no immediate plans to close more school buildings. And he said the district was working with the City Planning Commission to do an inventory of properties, with an eye toward local needs and enrollment trends. 

He said the first inventories would be done in Northeast Philadelphia, Kensington and Center City South.