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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

MAST Academy Air Conditioning Problems Continue Into New Year, Repairs Should ‘Solve’ Issue

Every year on the first day at MAST Academy, all students have grown to expect one thing: no air conditioning. Both last year and this year, students walked into school with a smile on their faces excited for the new school year when they were hit with a heat wave. There was no air in any of the buildings. In 90-degree weather, the students and teachers were struggling. Students couldn’t learn effectively and teachers couldn’t teach effectively.

After repairs made last month, administration claims those problems should be a thing of the past.

In the meantime, though, students struggled through a hot start to the school year.

“I was trying to do my work, but I just couldn’t focus,” freshman Sebastian Garrido said. “I literally felt like my sweat was gonna fall onto the page of my work.”

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Teachers generally wear long sleeve button ups and pants. While in the heat, wearing these long, thick clothes can be very uncomfortable.

Not only is the air an issue for how teachers and students do their job, but it is also an issue of safety. When it is so hot in the classroom, some teachers will sit outside or in the hallways with their students. If a shooter were to come and see this, there could be no way to protect the students or teachers.

“An active shooter could walk up the stairs and shoot up the people in the hallways,” 6th Grade Science Teacher Ms. Ervin said.

“It’s hard for the kids to stay awake, it’s hard for them to concentrate, and by the end of the day it’s hard for me to concentrate,” high school math Teacher Ms. Rampey said.

During the 2021-2022 school year, there were at least 25 days in which teachers reported a partial or complete air conditioning malfunction. This school year, at least 10 days were reported before Sept. 14.

Ms. Rampey, both a teacher and previously a union steward for United Teachers of Dade, has met with administrators regarding the AC problems since the year MAST Academy opened and she says that so far, this administration has been the most responsive.

Dr. Collman-Perez, principal of MAST Academy, claimed in an interview with the Beacon that the problems with the air conditioning had been “solved.” The main issue was that a part, the HVAC blower, had reached its end-of-life.

According to Dr. Collman-Perez, the Monday morning heat is due to the fact that the energy management system shuts off the AC for the weekend and does not turn it back on until Monday morning. She said that she has requested for the AC to be left on during the weekend.
Since the Sept. 14 repairs, there have been no major outages reported by students or staff.

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MAST Academy Air Conditioning Problems Continue Into New Year, Repairs Should ‘Solve’ Issue