We told you about the heat that public school students have to sit through in the classrooms. To make matters worse, some water fountains in the schools aren’t working.
A parent called our Action Line office because her daughter came home from Ilima Intermediate School complaining that water fountains weren’t working. We looked into it and learned it was just one fountain.
We also found out many of the older fountains are being replaced with new chilled ones.
Broken water fountains are a big problem in many public schools. But at Ilima, the fix is coming soon and this time, they’ll be getting chilled water.
Ewa Beach residents are all too familiar with the heat in the classrooms.
During these dog days of August, with no air conditioning in the classrooms at Ilima Intermediate, hearing about broken water fountains is alarming for parents.
“My concern was, how are you folks concentrating in school? (My daughter) came home with a big headache last week and she never gets headaches. She said it’s super hot, they can’t drink and she was super tired last week,” said parent Raquel Toribio.
We checked with the principal and he tells us that only one of the water fountains isn’t working. But even the ones that are working don’t provide much relief.
Eighth-grader Cayla Nakatsukasa tells KHON2 she prefers bringing her own water than drinking from the fountains. “The water’s really warm and it’s kinda gross,” she said.
Principal Chris Bonilla admits it is a problem and he’s already working on a solution that could come within the next month. He tells us that crews are already looking at replacing five of the 10 water fountains on campus. Each one will cost $2,000.
These will be chilled water fountains rather than the old ones that usually provide warm water because they’re outside.
There’s already one chilled water fountain inside the cafeteria.
“So they’ve come down at the school to take a look at what our current water fountains look like taking pictures and see what kind of labor is required to upgrade these,” Bonilla said.
We’ve also learned that water fountains break down a lot in public schools. The Department of Education tells us that many of them are vandalized.
At Oahu schools alone, more than 309 fountains required repairs this calendar year and the department reported about 500 in each of the past three years: 517 in 2014, 480 in 2013, and 496 in 2012.
The chilled water fountains will be installed on the second floor which can be gated off when school is closed. DOE says these new chilled water fountains need to be put in protected areas to prevent vandalism.