The AC unit at Eisenhower Elementary school in McPherson broke down last week literally right before school started. The district has decided to replace it rather than throw more money into a unit that is already 20 years old and well past its natural life expectancy.
Sheldon Anderson is McPherson’s Director of Operations for the school buildings and grounds who told board of education (BOE) members back in June that it was just a matter of time before one of these units would need to be replaced.
“The control system for Eisenhower (EES) and the ’95 addition of Washington (WES) is not supported anymore, so whenever that goes out, [that means] a new system,” Anderson told board members in June. “So we’re running on kind of borrowed time already.”
Anderson’s prediction has already come true for the unit at Eisenhower, which has seen numerous repairs in previous years along with many of the other aging, outdated units throughout the McPherson school district.
McPherson’s BOE will continue to consider options for replacing and modernizing the heating and air conditioning systems in all of the McPherson schools, the needed updates of which will cost several million dollars when all is said and done.
In the meantime, replacing the unit at Eisenhower is costing the district just under $200,000. Hopefully, it will be installed over the weekend and be ready to test by early next week.
The existing unit is currently running at 50 percent capacity, which will hopefully be enough to keep the school from having early dismissal until the new unit can be up and running. However, a lot will depend on how high temperatures get this week.