EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSCHOOL LEVY
from Eyewitness News Online
Officials: Levy Needed To Get New Air Conditioners
Reported by: Kristin Keeling
Web Producer: Kristin Keeling
Reported: May. 5, 2012 6:14 PM EDT
Updated: May. 5, 2012 7:21 PM EDT
East Bank , Kanawha County , West Virginia
When voters head to the polls on Monday, those in Kanawha County will have to decide whether or not to continue supporting an excess levy for schools.
It's only May, but we're already getting flashbacks to last summer.
For a few days in a row last year, schools like East Bank Middle had to be dismissed early because of a broken air conditioning unit. And this year the problem is repeating itself.
Last Thursday, Andrew Jackson Middle School dismissed their students because it was too hot inside the building to conduct class.
But school officials say renewing the school system's excess levy would provide millions of dollars to fix the air conditioning woes.
Executive Director of Facilities Planning Charles Wilson says the schools are running on units that are several years old.
"There's only so many times things can be rebuilt. I mean the frames and equipment are rusting away and they do the best they can but eventually you get to the point where you have to invest in new equipment," explained Wilson.
But the levy which is partially earmarked for new air conditioner units could be a tough sell to voters.
After a recent internal investigation uncovered theft and illegal purchases in the Kanawha County school's maintenance department including the disappearance of five air conditioning units.
But voters like Kathryn Nutter say it's worth passing. Without the levy, the new air conditioning units which cost about three-million each, may be out of reach.
Nutter's grandchildren attend East Bank, and she says she's heard nightmares about what happened when it gets too hot.
"Two of the kids actually got so hot that they threw up, so you know that's terrible. That's not something the kids want to sit through and I'm sure the teachers don't either," said Nutter.
Now the choice is up to the voters.
Eyewitness News talked to a lot of voters who didn't wish to go on camera who say they're hesitant to vote for the levy, simply because they're not convinced their money will go towards repairing the air conditioners.
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