Heat Causes School to Cancel Class

By: Phil Pendleton, WKYT
By: Phil Pendleton, WKYT

In the winter they're called "Snow Days" but at one southern Kentucky school district, I guess you could have just called it a "Hot Day."

As Phil Pendleton reports, officials in McCreary County say a unique situation led them to shut down schools for the rest of the week.

Just days after welcoming students back, they're back home again. But most of the problem doesn't have much to do with the actual schools, it has more to do with getting students home in the afternoon.

Mostly federal land, McCreary County is one of the most sparsely populated in the state. So a school bus ride from Whitley City or Stearns to Sawyer can take well over an hour and a half.

"We have started buying buses with air conditioning," said Ray Ball, Superintendent of McCreary County Schools.

But most buses don't. So with temperatures peaking over 100-degrees about the time school lets out, officials decided it was simply too hot to hold class. But hot bus rides home wasn't the only problem.

"We just have a compressor bad in this air conditioner," showed one school maintenance worker.

High atop the McCreary Central High School roof, one a/c unit is busted.

"We have some compressors that are not working at 100-percent," McCreary explained.

There's also problems at Pine Knot Intermediary School.

But school officials say repairs are being made and despite the hot days earlier this week, measures were taken to keep the kids cool.

"Just the things you would expect on a hot day and of course buses are hot, we have students with red faces but we are providing water for the students on the buses," McCreary added.

School officials say air conditioning repairs should be made by Aug. 17 and that more buses should have air conditioning by the end of the week.

School officials say air-conditioned buses are used for the longest routes, including one that lasts an hour and 40 minutes.

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