Gym saunas raise temps


Photo by Brianna Frank

On March 17th, 2023, numerous WCHS sophomores fell victim to the dangerously cold temperatures in the English hallway. Some fell unconscious while simply trying to get to class.

By Brianna Frank, Double Bass Extrordinaire

For weeks, the temperature in WCHS classrooms has widely fluctuated, and the answer to why is finally here. After years of planning and thousands of dollars, WCHS’s athletic department has allowed saunas to be installed in the gym locker rooms. The installation of these saunas has been extremely complicated, with heating being a major issue as it has come together. 

“The temperature in my Astronomy class has been very bothersome,” WCHS sophomore Maithri Verma said. “I have to plan my outfits around what the classroom temperature might be. Mondays tend to be very chilly in the classroom while Wednesdays are humid.” 

Construction workers for the sauna ran into problems within the first week of starting the project at the end of January 2023. The amount of energy needed to keep the sauna running was an issue that was not foreseen. 

“I never even considered that WCHS needed a sauna until this plan was put into place,” Verma said. “I’m definitely interested in how the idea was first suggested.” 

Studies of saunas have shown that they have numerous health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure or light-headedness which would be incredibly beneficial to WCHS athletes. However, more recent studies have found that saunas can cause burns or fainting.

“It has been really traumatizing seeing people pass out in the hallways constantly,” Verma said. “Just a few days ago, I nearly fainted in the English hallways because it was so hot.” 

These extreme classroom temperatures from the sauna construction have caused a 250% increase in reports of temperature-related health problems, such as heat exhaustion and hypothermia. After WCHS teachers sent home letters apologizing for the temperature issues, numerous parents voiced their concerns. Although some parents are completely against the sauna construction work, others are excited about its opening and potential future access for them. 

“My parents are thrilled that a sauna is coming to WCHS,” Verma said. “Personally, I don’t care whether or not we get a sauna, I’d just like the temperatures in my classrooms to get fixed.” 

Temperatures around the school have been so uncontrollable that teachers recommended students prepare by bringing clothes for hot and cold classrooms. Thick winter blankets have been placed in all classrooms for severe cases of freezing temperatures and extra fans have also been installed in most classrooms known to be on the hotter side. 

“While I do love the idea of a sauna, I don’t know how much longer I can take this anymore,” Verma said. “Coming home sweating from head to toe or shivering non-stop has been pushing me closer to my breaking point every single day.”