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Pinewood still waiting to be cool

Air Conditioning Project, Delayed and Over Budget, Scheduled for Finish Over Break



   As winter approaches and summer holds strong, classrooms either feel like Antarctica or an inferno. With the air conditioning installation being delayed, students are constantly putting on and taking off layers in the middle of class.

   Over the summer and earlier this year, all of the units and piping were installed. However, the electrical power was not strong enough to run air conditioning through the entire school since the power load was meant for 1953, when electronics were not such a huge part of school life. Behind the office, there is a giant trench dug up waiting to be filled with thicker wires for the new
electrical system.

   “Electricity has to be off for two or three days so that is why we are waiting for Thanksgiving vacation. If PG&E cannot finish installing the wires before break is over, we will have to wait until Christmas break,” principal Mark Gardner said.

   Even though the school has prepared as much as it can, PG&E still needs to install an upgraded transformer, a new electrical box, and thicker wires. PG&E has set back the system installation date until they are confident everything will run smoothly.

   “Due to the scope of the project we have had to go through the local governing agency along with PG&E. PG&E had to conduct their own studies and engineering in order to make sure that the increased electrical load could be handled,” president Scott Riches said.

   A project this huge does not come without a price. Literally. The school has gone over its $300,000 budget by $100,000, Riches said. Because they had to install a new transformer to manage the electrical load, specific engineering studies and equipment were needed to organize and carry out designing an efficient plan, digging a trench behind the school, and installing the more powerful system. In addition, they needed to hire an architect to design a complete outline of the project. Luckily, the extension of the project has allowed for the expenses to be paid
over two years.

   Gardner and Riches are not the only ones frustrated with the delay. California fall weather means cold mornings and hot afternoons. With only an old fan and rundown radiant heating, classrooms are never at the right temperature, taking away from a comfortable
learning environment.

  “The insufficient air conditioning can be distracting since after PE or a hot day it is hard to concentrate when you are really hot and sweaty,” freshman Keenan
Peery said.