Schools set to have AC units installed over summer break

Record-breaking temperatures have made many classrooms uncomfortably warm (Photo courtesy
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Students in government schools across Antigua may not only return to new and refurbished classrooms after the summer break, but they may also be pursuing their education in cooler temperatures as the government looks to install air conditioning units.

The Cabinet spoke with the Director of the Department of the Environment Diann Black-Layne on Wednesday who agreed to begin distributing the AC units to schools.

According to the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Ambassador Lionel Hurst, the government is assessing the work needed at each school to ensure that the units work effectively and efficiently.

“The Minister of Education has indicated that until the teams of electricians and engineers get together, we won’t know which schools require the re-engineering or the rearrangement of both infrastructure as well as wiring, and that is a system that requires precision.

“With all likelihood, the bigger the school, the larger the body of students, the more likely they are to require, in the summer months, the use of air conditioning,” Hurst said.

Another issue that the government is mulling is to ensure that use of the AC units is not abused.

“What we also know is that if you close off the windows in order to contain the coolness of the air conditioning, you may be compelled to use the air conditioning all the time.

“So, we want to install those kinds of protections that can be opened or closed so that you don’t have the air conditioning being fed to the outside.

“We’re doing some of the things that are necessary to ensure that we don’t expend more energy than is necessary and the amount of cooling that will be required will differ from one classroom to another, [we] must also fit the right air conditioner with the right classroom or school auditorium,” he added.

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