Parents say summer heat inside West Loop school hits ‘inhumane’ levels

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CHICAGO — When the temperatures rise in Chicago, parents say classrooms in a West Loop school are routinely sweltering because the air conditioning has had issues for years.

Parents of students at Skinner West are saying enough is enough after their kids came home from school recently complaining of sweltering classrooms. They say CPS should make sure schools aren't too hot in the same way landlords are required to make sure their apartments don't get too cold in the winter.

"My daughter came home and said it was extremely hot in the school, and we obviously knew that there have been issues with the A.C. for years," parent Lovisa Tedestedt said. "It's inhumane. Like we wouldn't even put a dog or an animal in that kind of environment

After dozens of parents started complaining on Facebook, they learned parts of the air conditioner had broken and were being ordered, as temperatures in classrooms climbed to 90 degrees. Board meeting minutes from last year suggest it has been an ongoing issue for a number of years.

"My child has been coming here for 6 years. This is an ongoing problem. It happens every single year. The HVAC unit does not work," parent Carmen Rodriguez said.

Many middle schoolers had to deal with the heat during standardized testing.

"This is by far Chicago's best public school. And we are so proud to send our kids here," Tedestedt said. "But there are issues that need to be addressed much more efficiently and much more you know effectively."

Parents say they spent nearly $1,000 on portable air conditioners at Costco and installed them in classrooms Thursday morning. The school sent a newsletter to parents saying they are postponing standardized testing until temperatures return to normal.

Crews arrived at the school with new parts, trying to fix the A/C. But while they were working they found another leak in the unit.

CPS could not be reached for comment as of airtime.

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