San Diego

Rancho Bernardo High School Teachers, Students Bundle Up Without Heated Classrooms

"It was colder in the classroom than it was outside. Everyone wore their jackets it was freezing" said RBHS senior Trevor Ford

Students and teachers are now in their third straight week without heat in classrooms at Rancho Bernardo High School (RBHS), causing some students to bring blankets to class.

"It was colder in the classroom than it was outside. Everyone wore their jackets it was freezing" said RBHS senior Trevor Ford.

A district spokeswoman said upon return from winter break, faculty noticed hot water leaking up from the ground in front of the main office and classrooms wouldn't heat up.

Both issues stem from a busted pipe which carries the hot water throughout the building used to heat classrooms.

The issue dragged on much longer than many of the teachers had hoped because the replacement part wasn’t easy to find.

Temperatures in some the classrooms dipped into the 50’s this week.

"I think it's just tough especially first thing in the morning, you come into school and it's a little cold, so getting things moving. I think as the day goes on students move around and teachers and classrooms heat up a little bit, it gets better. But I think first thing in the morning, it's a little chilly," said RBHS Principal David Lemaster.

Parents and students had mixed reaction to the heating problem.

"It doesn't raise any alarms as a parent. I talked to my daughter about it, she says she is aware some of the heaters aren't working,” said parent Paula Waters.

Another parent waiting for her student blew off the complaints.

“We live in San Diego, not the northeast, deal with it," she said.

But some of the school’s teachers are some of the most vocal critics.

Many are fed up with the string of ongoing infrastructure problems which they believe circles back to cheap construction when the school was built in 1991.

Some of the classrooms have leaks during heavy rain because they were constructed with dirt mounds up the side of the buildings and moisture in walls have led to cases of mold.

The district said in one situation, a teacher found moldy books in a cabinet.

"As of right now, I don't know of any issues, so as it rains we'll continue to monitor the situation,” Lemaster said.

As for the heating issue, Lemaster added that the replacement part has been ordered and they hope to have heated classrooms by the end of next week.

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