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Utah Students Coping With Heat

Utah Students Coping With Heat

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John Daley ReportingThe school year is getting started this week for a number of school districts around the state and a number of them are dealing with the annual challenge of coping with the late summer heat.

Many schools like West High in Salt Lake City already have air conditioning or have been retrofitted with it, but in many Utah school districts, a number of schools do not have air conditioning.

That has left school districts to come up with innovative ways to beat the heat. At Crestview Elementary in the Granite school district, Karen Pehrson's fifth grade class was enduring 90-degree temperatures this afternoon. While they worked on their artwork, their teacher used a spray bottle to keep them cool.

Each student is urged to bring a water bottle to class and is allowed to go to the water fountain for a drink whenever they need it. Also, Mrs. Pehrson bought five fans for her room and once a day--as per school policy--the students are allowed to have a popsicle.

In the Jordan School District, 20 of its 83 schools do now have air conditioning. The district estimates it would cost 50 million dollars in taxpayer money to install AC. In Salt Lake, similar numbers -- seven out of 36 schools do not have air-conditioning. And in Granite school district, only the year-round schools have it.

A number of the school districts say the cost of installing new air conditioning is prohibitive and if the students and teachers can make it through the hot weeks at the beginning and end of the school year, the rest of the year is generally tolerable.

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