Heating failure delays start at Chester High School

Posted: January 30, 2014

Chester High School was plunged into a deep freeze after the heating system failed last week, and administrators had to close off the first two floors.

"This unusually cold winter, with temperatures in the teens for several days in a row, has strained the very old heating system at Chester High School," said Chester Upland Superintendent Gregory Shannon.

School started two hours late Monday and Tuesday as administrators shuffled students and teachers onto the third, fourth, and fifth floors. The absentee rate was slightly higher than normal Monday, Shannon said.

Facilities experts determined that the heaters and air coils are functioning properly, but corrosion in some pipes has hampered the system's ability to deliver heat to some areas.

"We've contained the problem to the first and second floors," Shannon said, although there were "pockets of rooms [elsewhere] that were chilly."

The gym, auditorium, and most classrooms are on the upper floors, he said. Since the building is under capacity, it was not a problem to move students and staff to rooms where there was heat.

Shannon said the school planned to open on time the rest of the week, but "it depends on the weather and the [heating] system," he said. "If the system starts to fail, we'll take it day by day."




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