CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—Classes were canceled again Thursday at Riverside High School in Kanawha County. Leaders with the school system say it is because of a problem with the HVAC system. There are plans in the works to replace several aging air conditioning systems throughout the county.
Kanawha County Schools Superindentent Dr. Tom Williams said crews have replaced about half of the air conditioning units at Riverside so far. Work continues to fully replace the old system.
“We have some HVAC issues,” Williams said. “Our buildings are old and our units are old.”
Crews were at Sissonville Middle and Alum Creek Elementary this week doing air conditioning repairs. At Riverside High School, the classrooms were empty the last two days because of air conditioning problems.
“It is hard to believe but it has been open 22 or 23 years now,” Williams said. “It opened in 1998. So the unit is shot, and that is why we are replacing it.”
Throughout the county, the excess levy is funding new units for a total of fifteen schools. Federal COVID funds will be used to replace systems in 13 additional schools.
In the meantime, Williams said they are doing the best they can to keep classrooms cool so that students can be in school.
“We piece them together as much as we can because they are expensive and we do as much as we can with maintenance,” he said. “But then they get to the point where they don’t even sell parts anymore. So that is what we are up against.”
As for the timeline for Riverside High School’s air conditioning system to be fully replaced, Williams said work started at the beginning of the summer and will continue through the year.