Fairborn schools acknowledge heat issue at Fairborn Intermediate school

Building in final year of use has boiler problem; fire department checked space heaters for safety

Fairborn Intermediate School is using space heaters in 21 of its rooms due to a faulty boiler in the soon-to-be-closed building. The Fairborn Fire Department inspected the space heater usage Monday, after some parents raised concerns, and said the setup is safe.

The boiler in the building is working, but not working well, said district spokeswoman Pam Gayheart. Some parts of the building are warm, but others are not. Gayheart said custodians turn on the space heaters before students get to school.

“The rooms are at a good temperature when the students get there,” she said.

Fairborn schools are building a new intermediate school, which Gayheart said is still on track to open in August. The building that the district is currently using as an intermediate school is an old primary school which is scheduled to be demolished after the new building has opened.

Gayheart said it would be irresponsible to replace or put new parts into the boiler in the current intermediate school since the district will soon move out of the old building. She said the district had not gotten cost estimates on replacing or fixing the boiler.

Gayheart said she was not sure of the exact timeline of when space heaters went into the classrooms, but said it has been a few weeks.

“We’re just doing the best we can to get through this cold snap,” she said.

Fairborn Fire Battalion Chief Adam Howard, who inspected the school after the fire department became aware on Friday the district was using space heaters, said only about four to six rooms were affected by the cold temperatures, but other classrooms requested the space heaters. Howard estimated less than a quarter of the building was affected.

Until Monday, the low temperature in the Dayton area had been 16 degrees or colder for 11 straight days.

Howard said he took about an hour on Monday afternoon to walk through the building with the principal of the school and looked at the space heaters: noting how close they were to anything that could catch on fire, like a blanket; whether they were plugged directly into outlets; and whether the heaters had certifications from a national recognized testing laboratory that indicated they were safe.

Howard said he didn’t see anything wrong while he was inside.

“We all have a vested interest in this community and to make sure that we don’t have a fire in this building and keep our students safe,” he said.

In a Facebook post last Thursday where the district addressed the issue, some parents said their children had reported wearing coats in the classroom and bringing blankets to school.

Good Evening! Tonight, there was a demonstrably false and misleading post from a local news agency regarding heat at...

Posted by Fairborn City Schools on Thursday, January 27, 2022

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