Samuel Saenz

The second phase of the Heating, Ventilation and Cooling project has been approved by the district as of Aug. 28 of the present year. The construction of 80 HVAC units, which will take place in 11 middle and high schools in the district, officially begins Sept. 16 and is planned to conclude by Dec. 1. The project is scheduled to take place during fall break in Bonita Vista High, but some areas will take longer, directly affecting employees and students.

“The trenching is expected to be completed before the students return back to school. However, the work in the kitchen will not be completed thus restricting the use of the kitchen until after Oct. 30. Food Services will be bringing food to be served via carts that will be located outside of rooms 201, 301, 401, and 501,” Assistant Principal Carlos Siragusa said.

Although there are current disadvantages to the building of these HVAC units, according to the Project Manager Janea Quirk, the incorporation of said units would provide a healthier environment when implemented in the kitchen.

“ By providing air conditioning into the kitchen,” Quirk said, “[we] will provide a safer working environment for the staff that works there [making] lunch for everybody.”

The healthier environment would also become beneficial to students, especially those with medical requirements who need to stay within a certain temperature. Incorporating these new systems will contribute to having a more productive campus as classrooms can become overwhelmingly hot during the summer according to Advanced Placement Statistics and Physics teacher Mario Bastien.

“The students may have medical reasons to be uncomfortable in the extreme heat. It ties together with safety,” Bastien said, “I had to keep my doors open, which we are not supposed to do, according to safety protocol.”

However, according to Bastien, the situation was not properly addressed as the air conditioning was temporarily fixed during Open House. He had formally complained in August, but his AC continued to not work through September. Just recently, his room’s AC was fixed.

“There is very poor ventilation in these rooms,” Bastien said, “Even if you open all of the doors and windows there is very poor ventilation. AC is not so much of a luxury, it is more of a necessity.”

Quirk attended the school site on Sept. 8 to address concerns similar to that of Bastien and according to her, the district is doing everything possible to solve these HVAC issues in BVH and the rest of the district. Despite the size of the project, the construction managers are not as focused on BVH as they are elsewhere. This is in large part because, despite some faulty units, the project seeks out to implement ones that don’t exist or repair units that do not work at all.

“At BVH we have a limited scope because most of the campuses already have air conditioning,” Quirk said, “we are installing air conditioning into the kitchen, in the cafeteria, 1203 and 1204.”

The project currently occurring on campus is going to be finished over fall break if plans are followed properly. In addition, the physical implementation has been occurring at night while students aren’t present to reduce safety hazards. This way, students and faculty will return to classrooms and work environments that have properly set temperatures.

The district and the project managers have established distinct goals to complete this new project and plan to follow through accordingly. According to Quirk, this project is being placed with importance.

“I think it is important to include that the delivery message on this is unique. I take a lot of pride in my work and my job. It is important to me to provide a successful project delivery for the district,” Quirk said.