Old Boiler Caused Cold Classrooms at Aspen

Ms. Morey’s students at Aspen Elementary School recently performed a reader’s theater of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Courtesy/LAPS

Staff Report

Speculation that the thermostat at Aspen Elementary School was shut off over night and on weekends turns out to be false and not the reason for frigid temperatures in classrooms earlier this week.

The culprit is the 60-year-old boiler straining under the extended blast of below freezing weather plaguing the area.

“This is yet another reason we are hoping to pass the bond so that we can get a better heating system for that school with the new construction,” LAPS Coordinator of Facilities Jeff Sargent said. “The boiler in that school is the original boiler and there is no backup boiler if this one fails at over 60 years old. I have been getting complaints of the temperature the custodial staff are having to deal with after hours, especially with the colder temperatures and their claims of getting sick at work during the winter break when the heat was down at 55 degrees. I have to agree especially when the outside temps were not getting above freezing.”

After being notified Monday of the cold conditions at Aspen, Sargent sent workers to check it out and they were able to fix the bolier and the building warmed back up.

Sargent explained that heating systems in buildings throughout the district are lowered during off hours to 55 degrees. He said with below freezing temperatures, custodians are raising thermostats earlier so buildings are 70 degrees when students and staff arrive. This will be done early each morning for as long as this cold snap continues, he said.

Sargent added that water pouring out of a closet at Aspen Monday also was caused by the old boiler and an issue created when workers let water drip from the boiler over the weekend. He said that issue also has been resolve.


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