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HEAT, AIR CONDITIONER FAILURES SEND INLAND SCHOOL KIDS HOME EARLY

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BVN Staff Report

The last thing you want during a triple digit heat wave is to have your air conditioning go out. But that's happening to thousands of Inland school kids this week. The school district headquarters in San Bernardino, Arrowhead Elementary, Cajon High School closed early Tuesday, Aug. 14, because of air conditioning failures. Other school districts, including Jurupa Unified and Colton Joint Unified, struggled with air-conditioning breakdowns during the unprecedented heat wave but haven’t had to send students and employees home, officials said.

Several schools held classes in blast furnace-like conditions. In Beaumont, San Gorgonio Middle School held its sixth-grade orientation Tuesday despite a power failure that left the school dark. Southern California Edison officials said the outage resulted from equipment damage caused by extreme heat. School starts in that district Wednesday. Inland temperatures have been in the triple digits for more than a week. A slight cooling trend is expected at the end of this week but highs will remain in the mid- to upper 90s, forecasters said.

In the San Bernardino City Unified School District, the air conditioning at Arrowhead Elementary was repaired and the school returned to its regular schedule Wednesday. Classes at Cajon High were dismissed at noon Wednesday because of ongoing cooling problems.

The high school’s air conditioning was repaired but then shut down again because of fluctuations in the power grid serving the school, district spokeswoman Linda Bardere said Tuesday.

“It shuts itself off to protect itself against a power surge, and then we have to reprogram it to get it running again,” Bardere said. The district headquarters, in the Board of Education building at 777 North F St., closed early Tuesday and shut down at noon Wednesday because of inoperable air conditioning, she said.

The Colton Joint Unified School District has been dealing with numerous air-conditioning failures. Spokeswoman Katie Orloff said no students were sent home early. The San Bernardino City Unified School District will provide information on school schedule changes related to air-conditioning problems online and by telephone: www.sbcusd.com, Facebook/SanBernardinoCitySchools or 909-888-5437.

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