No heat puts freeze on classes

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 7, 2007


Woodrow Watts Jr. said he planned to play some basketball today.

What else could are he and his 307 classmates at the School of Discovery to do since school was dismissed after lunch Thursday? And, they&8217;re off today.

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The heat in the 81-year-old Franklin Street sixth-grade school has been out all week. School officials decided enough was enough, as temperatures were forecast to dip below freezing Thursday night.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Verdell L. Dawson met with Gerald Shirley, school principal, and decided it was best closed. Temperatures that dipped just below freezing have left the classrooms colder inside than the afternoon temperatures outside.

The problem was electrical components in the school&8217;s boiler, which heats the main building. The gym, which leaks when it rains, has heat. Students who could not get rides home spent the remainder of Thursday in the gym.

School officials called parents and issued a statement of explanation to parents, saying school would reopen Monday. It&8217;s the same night school board members are set to meet in the school&8217;s auditorium to vote on the next superintendent of Selma City Schools.

The insufficient heat inside would make the students sick, going inside and out.

Several parents wanted to know why the school did not have alternative heating devices. School officials said safety concerns did not allow for space heaters.