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Summer school programs without AC dealing with heat

Ellis Elementary.jpg
Posted at 4:56 PM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 20:37:47-04

DENVER — On one of the hottest days of the year, most kids are splashing around in the pool. For those in summer programs, some are in classrooms without air conditioning.

Hours before the kids get to Ellis Elementary School, Andrew Maestas, the facility manager, is hard at work.

"First thing I do in the morning is open up the windows," Maestas said.

Denver Public Schools started their summer programs a couple of weeks ago. Eight of the 50 programs are in buildings without AC. Ellis Elementary is one of them.

"The ideal DPS standards for temperature, I believe, is 68 to 74. I’m trying to keep it at 70, but due to the heat, it's kind of hard to," Maestas said, referring to the classroom temperatures.

At one point, Maestas checked the temperature to find it at 81.3 degrees.

"Normally, we could have fans in the hallway, but due to COVID restrictions, we cannot do that anymore," Maestas said.

Last year, there were no summer programs or summer school due to the pandemic. About three dozen students occupy the four classrooms in use at Ellis. One of them is Maestas’ son, Alex.

"Very hot. My water became super hot very quick," Alex said of his recess time outside.

Maestas says they follow the same protocol when kids return to school in August. He says the kids seem to be fine in the rooms, but he knows it's challenging.

"I’m trying to do the best with what I have," Maestas said. "I’m hoping it changes and cools down sooner."