SCS closes more schools Wednesday due to heating problems

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — More Shelby County schools shut down early Wednesday, because their heating systems weren't working.

"They should have stayed home from the start if they knew they were going to cancel it. Come on I have got to go to work," said one parent walking out of Winchester Elementary.

Winchester Elementary was one of several Shelby County Schools that closed at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday due to heating problems.

Add that to a list of schools that shut down Wednesday for the same reason:

  • White Station High School (closed at 11:30 a.m.)
  • Sheffield High School (closed at 11:30 a.m.)
  • Winchester Elementary School (closed at 11:30 a.m.)
  • Kirby Middle School
  • Kirby High School
  • Westwood High School
  • Georgian Hills Achievement Elementary School
  • Frayser-Corning Achievement Elementary School

District officials wouldn't agree to an interview, but told us in a statement that crews have been trying to switch systems in schools to heat, and anticipating the cold, amped up those efforts this weekend.

"We will and have been addressing all issues identified and will continue to work around the clock," officials wrote.

WREG found out even more school have heating problems.

A message was sent out to parents at Craigmont High on Wednesday morning.

"The cable that was worked on is still not working properly and preventing proper heating," the message stated.

Parent Lavette Clark said she went to the district after hearing about heating issues at the school on Tuesday.

"The principal told them if the classroom is too cold, they can go into the auditorium," said Clark.

For the second day in a row, she said her daughter wore her winter coat in class.

"I think they need to do a better job with my taxpaying money and your taxpaying money as well and give the children what they need," she said.

As of 5 p.m., SCS officials had not said whether schools will be closed tomorrow.

They did send the following information about their aging facilities"

• On average SCS should invest approximately $70 million per year to address the maintenance needs for a District our size. For many years, maintenance projects were not addressed due to budget constraints.
• Thanks to the SCS School Board and the support of the Shelby County Commission we have been able to address many projects with the recent awards allowing us to build new schools and increase our capacity especially in schools with increased enrollment. Since we have been addressing our deferred maintenance needs more consistently over the last couple years, we have now reached a point in which we can create better learning environments for our students by improving classrooms and building new gyms in many of our schools.
• Last year, we spent a record $72.4 million of capital funding including HVAC system replacements and upgrades at 37 schools, 30 classroom additions, 10 roofing replacements, renovation projects at 10 schools and major alteration and renovation projects to support College, Career and Technical Education (CCTE) programs.

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