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Temperature change presents challenges at SHJH


October 9, 2019

While construction continues at Sweet Home Junior High, the School District has had some trouble keeping classrooms warm as the weather changes.

The district weathered some criticism over it via social media last week.

Supt. Tom Yahraes said the district has had issues because “we’re using temporary heating sources to warm the building.”

The building’s new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will be tested on Oct. 21, Yahraes said. As the units pass their tests, the school will bring them on line. He expects them all to be on line by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, “we monitor the heating to see where our temperatures are at,” Yahraes said. “The building was cold a couple of days as we were adapting (to the changing weather). We were off the mark.”

One night, the school didn’t have enough fuel for the temporary heating system, which includes temporary duct work, and it was pumping out cold air, Yahraes said. Now, staff members are checking it out every morning, the assistant principal checked each room’s temperature Friday, and they’re watching the weather.

“We’ve been trying to find the sweet spot,” Yahraes said. “We think we have it dialed into a comfortable, learning-friendly zone. We’re nearing completion on the roof.”

Most of the new roofing material is down, but the contractor is finishing work on the “mechanical chase,” which contains various lines, such as natural gas and data cables, he said.

The district is in the process of remodeling portions of the high school, including the replacement of the roof, a new gymnasium, a new cafeteria, new locker rooms, a new office with a secure entrance, new classroom windows and siding.

The project is funded by a $4 million bond levy and matching grant from the state, with additional funding through the district’s Long-Term Maintenance Fund.

“No doubt, there’s been challenges to our staff and students,” Yahraes said. “I appreciate the can-do attitude and adapting to (the construction), which will take us from the 1960s to 2020 and beyond.”


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