Area schools weather the heat

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) Earlier this week, several schools in Ohio's largest city either closed for the day, or had shorter days, due to 90-degree heat, according to media outlets in Columbus The same was true, according to the Associated Press, for some school systems in neighboring Pennsylvania.

That has not been the case for area school buidlings.

"We have no plans for closing," says Mike Fling, Assistant Superintendent, Wood County Schools, said Tuesday. "For the lack of heat in the wintertime, maybe, but overheating, we do our best to cool the classrooms."

School administrators in both Wood and Washington Counties tell us part of the goal for cooling down their students involves keeping them hydrated.

While soda and similar drinks are not allowed in most schools, water bottles for all students are accepted-and, in this case, encouraged.

"We have a lot of athletes, and so we try to make sure they have an opportunity to stay hydrated during the day," says Darlene Murphy, Principal, Van Devender Middle School, "so when they're headed out to their sports in the afternoon, they're not dehydrated from being in class all day with no water breaks."

A number of elementary and middle schools in Wood County have room, but not central air conditioning. Fling says even the auditorium at Parkersburg High School remains without air conditioning.

Van Devender installed a number of single-room units earlier this fall-just in time.

"It's a lot of want versus need," Murphy explains. "And when you're dealing with trying to teach students in 90-degree weather, air conditioners are a need, they're not a want."

It's fair to say all area schools can't wait for cooler weather, which should come late this week.