The news report this morning was about shivering students at Frick Middle School.
But the Oakland school district’s temperature problems are much broader and more chronic. About 65 OUSD schools and offices reported heat outages this week, after returning from Thanksgiving break on Monday. More than half of the problems had yet to be fully resolved as of this afternoon, according to this district log.
In some cases, the outages were confined to the school library, a portable classroom, or the main office; in others, most or all of the school was cold — except for classrooms with portable heaters.
It’s not an unprecedented problem in Oakland, either.
“The reality is, we’ve got an old infrastructure,” said Tim White, the district’s assistant superintendent of facilities.
The district has 500 acres and 3,000 classrooms, White added, and facilities staff has been cut back significantly. There are now just five heating technicians. White said one solution is to have the heating techs train custodians to help with heating outages.
OUSD has received a considerable amount of facilities bond money in recent years. I wonder how many ancient heating systems have been upgraded with those funds. I’ve requested that information, and I’ll let you know what I find out.