Classrooms: You’re hot then you’re cold

By Alissa Li, Production Editor

Bundled up in heavy winter jackets, students brace themselves for the storm to come—inside their classrooms. Extreme room temperatures, whether they are freezing or sweltering, are a frequent issue at CHS.

According to William Butler, supervisor of the MCPS Energy Management Department, each school is divided into zones. Each zone is determined by the purpose of its room, like classrooms and offices. In each zone, the temperatures are controlled differently. If something is not working correctly, schools can contact the Energy Management Department.

Butler and his technicians can identify problems with the temperature in each school by the temperature sensors set up in every school.

“The temperature works with temperature sensors in each area through the building which are controlled and monitored outside the building by the maintenance department of the Energy Management system,” CHS building services manager Angel Delgado said.

During the summer or when it is hot out, the county drops the temperature to 76 degrees. When it is winter, the county brings the temperature up to a minimum of 70 degrees. Schools can individually change the temperature by two degrees, but the temperature of the school is ultimately decided by the county.

However, there are many rooms that do not conform to this regulation, such as the business office. Financial specialist Judith Starlings, who works in the business office, has to wear a coat and gloves in order to adjust to the office’s cold temperature.

“The temperature in the business office is usually 67 degrees,” Starlings said. “I usually keep my winter coat in my office all year long.”

The air conditioning can either be on full blast or off; there is no in between.

“It’s inconvenient to have to bring a sweatshirt to class when it’s 90 degrees out,” junior Katie Kidney said. “It’s also incredibly harmful for the environment to air condition the school to such a low temperature.”

However, although he does not like the temperature of his room, instrumental music director Kristofer Sanz has accepted the problem over time.

“I have come to grips with the fact the room is hot,” Sanz said. “It has been a constant issue and you learn to deal with it and move on.”

While Sanz puts a positive spin on a bothersome problem, English teacher Jeffery Savett does not think the temperature of his room is a problem at all.

“I love the temperature of my room,” Savett said. “I’m very frenetic when I teach and so having the air conditioner work well is really important. Otherwise, I’d be drenched by the end of the day.”