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Cool the school: new air conditioning affects classrooms

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After the District 99 Referendum was passed, air conditioning units were installed throughout DGS, cooling the school for a couple of months out of the year.

This $6.2 million installment occurred during the summer of 2018 after the community showed their support for the district. The referendum had promised to use the bonding money to install the air conditioning immediately after it was approved; however, these units are unlike AC units at the average household.

“Our AC system is a water-cooled or heated system,” Associate Principal for Operations Omar Davis said. “We have a series of boilers and chillers in the sub-levels of our building as well as on our rooftops. These units heat or cool water that is then piped into smaller uni-vents throughout the building, so those uni-vents blow air.”

These systems blow air into all of the classrooms at DGS, so that students feel comfortable and reasonably chilled.

According to Davis, the referendum was “a major, sweeping change for the community.” Speaking on behalf of the district’s administration, Davis said that the changes they will be making from this point forward are because the community believes in its potential and supports the renovations.

DGS students agree with Davis, believing this addition was important and necessary.

“The C hallway has always seemed to be fine but in the rest of the hallways, I couldn’t even concentrate because it was hotter than the class … even if it was a lot to ask of the community, it is still nice to have because I can concentrate more. Sometimes I’d be coming from gym class and I‘d already be hot, so in other classes, I couldn’t even focus on actually listening, I’d just be trying to cool off,” senior Trevor Jacobs said.

Likewise, senior Kate Kulpinski appreciates the installment.

“I think that the classrooms would get too hot, especially in the A hallways and it was just too much for the teachers and just focusing in the classroom,”

Kulpinski said. “In the beginning of the year, it seemed too cool, but I’d rather be too cool because you can always put on a sweater.”

Not only have students noticed the drastic difference, but the staff has also responded pleasantly to this change in temperature.

“Generally, I am a fan — pun intended … At least the room that I was in last year did not have strong air conditioning beforehand, so even with the fans going, you were sweating, students were distracted, et cetera. So we don’t have that negative environmental factor, so it’s a little easier to make it through the lesson, in that respect,” English teacher Nathaniel Haywood said.

Although many have applauded the installment of air conditioning, some students feel otherwise, believing it is too cold.

“I have a couple issues with it. Mainly, in a couple of my classes, it is really, really cold … I have to make sure every day to bring a jacket … It’s gotten to the point that it is distracting me because it is so cold,” junior Shayan Rasheed said.

However, Rasheed does believe that AC has its benefits; otherwise, the money would not have been spent.

“It’s important that the students are at a place where they are comfortable in the classrooms. I think, moving forward, it would be good to have measure that would ensure that all the classrooms are at a good temperature. I don’t think that investing in air conditioning is something that is not beneficial. It has its purposes and I think that it is good that [the community] took that into consideration,” Rasheed said.

Overall, the district community, as well as the school community, believes the air conditioning has been a success.

Further adjustments are being made in order to control the temperature and make students and staff comfortable in the long-houred school days.

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About the Writer
Andrea Davenport, Print Co-Editor-in-Chief

Andrea Davenport is a senior at DGS and is the Print Co-Editor-in-Chief. This is her second year as a member of the DGS Blueprint staff; however, she was a freelance writer for the paper her sophomore year and the Print Opinions Editor her junior year. As the Print Opinions Editor her first year on the Blueprint staff, Davenport won multiple awards at three different journalism competitions.

Looking to be an English teacher in the future, Davenport’s top choice of college is Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.

In the summer of 2017, Davenport was selected, one of only 16, to attend the IPF Journalism workshop hosted at Eastern Illinois University. The following summer, she was selected and named the Distinguished Young Woman of Downers Grove, representing her town in a scholarship program– one of only 11 participants out of 110 applicants.

Davenport enjoys blogging, writing short fiction and participating in both club and DGS varsity gymnastics. In February of 2017, Davenport advanced to the IHSA State competition in Palatine, placing number nine on the balance beam and number 18 on the floor exercise.

In her free time, when she is not at gymnastics or doing homework, Davenport enjoys baking, eating, blogging about the food she baked and watching her favorite television shows and movies: “Downton Abbey,” “Reign,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Grease” and “Spotlight.”

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Cool the school: new air conditioning affects classrooms