The end of summer and the beginning of the school season are some of the hottest times of the year. Rockhurst High School students rely on the cool, refreshing breeze of the air conditioning that flows through the building to get them through the heat. However, beginning on Tuesday, September 19th, and going through Thursday, September 21st, the Rockhurst High School air conditioning was not functioning.
On Tuesday, the first day of the air conditioning outage at Rockhurst High School, no one seemed to notice. Anthony Haggerty, a member of the Junior Class, said. “I don’t even remember the air conditioning being out on Tuesday, I only remember Wednesday and Thursday.” Junior Ethan Baranowski supports this claim, stating himself that “I only felt it on Wednesday and Thursday, I had no idea it was out on Tuesday as well.”
On Wednesday, the wrath of the heat really started to hit the students. Rockhurst students were angry to find that the inside of the building was not much cooler than the outside. As the day continued, the heat increased. Teachers that taught in classrooms with windows kept the windows open throughout the class, which on a normal day would not occur. The only relief from the heat was from the windows and the water fountains. Throughout the day, mostly during passing periods, the water fountains were crowded with lines of five-plus students waiting to get a drink of cold water. “It was so hot, I couldn’t get myself to focus or get anything done. I almost fell asleep because it was so hot.” Baranowski said.. After two days of drought, students expected the air conditioning to be back on for Thursday. These students were in for surprise.
On Thursday, Rockhurst High School students faced the hottest day of the week. Upon walking through the front door, students found that the interior of the building was just as hot — if not hotter — than the outside. The whole school was hot, and classrooms with many students packed inside at once were hot, stuffy, and sweaty. On top of this, teachers were told to close their windows for the entire duration of the school day so it would “keep the temperature constant throughout the building so maintenance could fix the AC.” Water fountains were crowded throughout the day, and the hallways and classrooms were filled with students fanning themselves with notebooks.
Students enrolled in Mr. Arico’s Honors Physics class were especially unfortunate. Both classes were conducting an outdoor lab. Students sat in the 7th period sun outside of the practice field for thirty minutes. Hot and sweaty students filed back into the building with no relief. “8th period was awful because of the lab we did 7th period.” Junior Gary Zancanelli said. “We were already hot and sweaty and the building couldn’t cool us down.”
Students that attend Rockhurst High School are fortunate to have the privilege of learning in an air conditioned environment. Many public schools throughout the nation experience school every day without air conditioning. Last week would have been completely normal for students attending these schools.