Heat lost in hurricane aftermath


A generator with fuel is set up on the field next to the track. Concerns were raised about the safety of a fuel tank so close to the school, but the school had to obtain temporary heating units to heat classrooms in the A wing. These classrooms lost heating during Hurricane Sandy, and heating was restored after a month.

Madeline Fagen, Staff Writer

Catastrophic Hurricane Sandy continues to affect our school more than a month later.

“We have been addressing an ongoing heating issue in parts of the school since Hurricane Sandy,” said Principal Mr. Ira Pernick. “The storm damaged a section of our heating system.”

The heating in the A and B wings were not functioning in the weeks after the hurricane.

“The problem was identified and is being resolved,” said Director of Facilities Mr. James Ristano. “Temporary heating units were installed in the meantime so classes can continue.”

“Temporary heating units may not have been the most convenient solution, but it was the best one possible for the problem at hand. The goal was to keep classrooms warm so students could concentrate, and that was all the school could do to try to achieve that goal,” said Mr. Dave Albury, head of custodial staff.

There are varying opinions on whether the school’s attempts to keep the students safe and concentrated are effective.

“I was in A7 in math. The smell was horrible and it was hard to concentrate,” said junior Dillion Drukker. “We were all worried that the fumes were hazardous to our health. Personally, I would’ve rather been cold than injured by the fumes.”

“I trust that the school is trying as hard as they can to fix the heating problem and keep the students safe,” said freshman Tori Finkle.

The temporary heating units in each classroom run electrically, ensuring that there were no gaseous fumes being produced in the building. But the generator positioned on Campus Drive that runs the units does in fact run on diesel fuel.

The district hired a private company to properly and safely install the generator and heaters.

“We do not think students or staff are in any danger,” said Mr. Pernick. “We will continue to monitor the situation.”

“I’m sure if school administrators thought that the heaters or generator were any sort of threat to the students, that we would not be in school,” said freshman Elana Israel. “Our district would never take that risk.”

The districts ordered new parts for the school’s original heating system from the manufacturer. The parts did arrive on December tenth, and custodians and heating service men began repairing the heaters only to find that there were additional problems with the heaters. Because of this additional problem, the temporary heaters continued to be used until the heating was able to be completely fixed a few days later.

“I hope that once the heating problem is resolved school life can finally completely return to normal after Hurricane Sandy,” said freshman Maddie Rosenbaum.

The generator and temporary heaters were removed from the school grounds, and the heating problem has been officially resolved.

The generator and temporary heaters were removed from the school grounds, and the heating problem has been officially resolved.