Heating issues reported at Rutherford Co. school - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Heating issues reported at Rutherford Co. school


The cold weather that has moved into the Midstate this week knocked the heat out of a Rutherford County elementary school Wednesday morning.

The pilot light went out in one of the boilers at Roy L. Waldron Elementary School overnight, dropping temperatures inside to a chilly 50 degrees.

The other boiler isn't currently working.

"These two boilers combined heat the whole building, but if one goes down, we still have heat," said lead school custodian Rocky Fulgengi.

Students kept their coats on while maintenance crews got the heat up and running, and officials say there was no need to cancel class.

"The school was chilly this morning, but it was not freezing. It was nowhere near freezing, and the maintenance department felt they could get it fixed pretty quickly, so that's why they made that decision," said James Evans with Rutherford County Schools.

School officials stress at no point were students in any danger from exposure, because the roof units - which heat the common areas - were still working.

"Initially, they had a lot of the kids in the cafeteria and in the gym and in the hallway. But once they checked all the rooms and determined they were in the 60s, they let them go to the classrooms with their coats because maintenance said it would be back up pretty quickly," Evans said.

By about 8:45 a.m., the temperature inside the building had risen to 69 degrees.

So there was never a need to cancel classes for the day. Doing that, Evans said, could create more problems.

"We don't want to send kids home to a potentially empty home and turn the buses around. We don't know if parents are going to be there or not. So, if we can make the determination that we can fix this quickly, it's better to keep them here than to send them home," he said.

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