In cold weather, school district works to strike a balance with thermostats

Published: Saturday, January 9, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 8, 2010 at 11:33 p.m.

Of late, it's been difficult to find a comfortable temperature in North Central Florida, as thermometers have dipped below freezing and the forecast calls for more of the same.

The Alachua County School District is trying to strike an even balance between keeping classrooms warm for students and staff alike while keeping an eye on expenses. The district has also dealt with several malfunctioning air systems at area schools in recent days.

Ed Gable, director of facilities for the district, said the district policy is to set thermostats at 68 degrees in the winter when buildings are occupied and 64 degrees in the evenings and on weekends.

"We feel like those are comfortable temperatures and they are set to also save some on energy consumption," Gable said.

He said there are a mix of temperature controls at schools around the district: some that are controlled by the central office, others controlled at the school level by principals or by individual units.

"When the equipment is working properly, the temperature is set, but you will still have a difference in people saying it's not warm enough or not cool enough in some cases," Gable said.

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