WestSide Story

Baby it’s cold inside

Eli Sorensen, Reporter

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It's cold manEli Sorensen

 

  One morning during a lecture in math, I found it difficult to focus due to how incredibly cold it was in the classroom. I soon realized that the more I thought about my frigid surroundings, the harder it was to ignore them, and the colder it seemed to become. “It’s cold,” I mumbled. Instantly, heads turned. I heard assent all around me. Throughout the remainder of the week, I continued to notice that no matter where I was, the school was glacial. It wasn’t until I noticed a fellow classmate shivering that I decided to find out just how cold students really were.

 A signature sound follows Sydney George (11) all over Skyline: the sound of chattering teeth. Discordant during the quiet of math, I asked her one day if this was always the case.

  “Every day. All the time. Even in the summer,” Sydney began. “I’m passionate about this! I come to school to learn, but I can’t be a good student when it’s cold. It’s extremely distracting. It doesn’t matter where I am. It’s cold.”

  It’s not an isolated issue, either. After noticing the inadequate temperatures and bundling up accordingly, I spent one day asking every single one of my classmates, in every single one of my classes, if the school was cold. The answer was a resounding yes. While I didn’t have enough time to ask every single student at Skyline, it’s telling that even in such a sizeable sampling of students, not one of them answered in the negative. What’s more, a poll taken among 120 random Skyline students resulted in 88% of students agreeing that the school is always cold.

  “Every class,” Kylie Corrigan (11) said. “I’m cold. I’m constantly shivering, and I’m not able to fully focus on my studies.”

  Blaming the temperature may seem like a scapegoat, as there are plenty of other factors that can contribute to students’ learning environments, but the fact that it is being constantly mentioned by students and faculty alike is evidence of the problems the cold is really causing.

“The cold also forces me to wear a jacket,” Corrigan added, “which covers up my cute outfits.”

  While one might argue that outfits aren’t important to students’ success, Kylie’s comment is very representative of Skyline’s winter attire. A surprising number of students dressed for the winter continue to don coats when they get to school — down halls and in classrooms. When the heating isn’t provided to students, it seems, they provide it themselves. I followed the trend and wore my coat throughout a school day, and noticed tolerable temperatures at the expense of complete productivity.

  However, certain classes are definitely better regulated than others. Interior rooms without any windows tend to be warmer than those on the exterior of the building. In fact, these rooms can sometimes be too well-regulated.

  “I can’t find a balance,” Paula Ashby said. “I either turn it up and it’s hotter than hot, or I turn it down, and it gets too cold.”

Other teachers agree that their classroom’s thermostats are incredibly sensitive as well. So while the school is in fact much colder than usual right now, that is probably just a result of the weather outside. The troubling temperatures at Skyline are likely due to a larger problem — it’s not that we can’t properly heat the building — room’s like Mrs. Ashby’s are proof of that. Instead, the problem seems to be that the building doesn’t possess proper capability to manage its own climates.

  If only we had a bond in the pipeline to fix issues like these.

  It’s old news that the most recent one didn’t pass — and it’s not likely that we’ll see another opportunity to pass one for a while. Even though we aren’t paying for a new school, we are paying for the continual use of the existing one every day. We’re burning money to heat the building, but the students aren’t feeling any warmth from the flames.

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Baby it’s cold inside