The Student News Site of Pace High School

Pacer NYC

Pacer NYC

The Student News Site of Pace High School

Pacer NYC

No Plan in Place for Repairing Broken Air Conditioners

photo Katelynn Seetaram
Mr. Widlund in 421D frustrated with his broken AC.

In September, students and staff experienced and expressed discomfort and frustration due to the broken air conditioners in three classrooms since 2020 and the units still haven’t been fixed.

Sophomore Olivia Jagnandan, a student who had global history in room 334, said, “The heat was getting to me – this fall, we had a lot of hot days and I couldn’t focus.”

Fatoumata Minimono, also a sophomore, who, too, has global history in room 334, described this year’s environment as “just soggy, and you don’t feel like doing your work because all you keep thinking about is how hot it is.”

Anthony Canales, Pace’s head custodial engineer, said that the funding application process for repairs is ongoing. By the time summer ended, all of the DOE’s funding had been depleted because of the summer schools’ financial demands for their broken air conditioners.

Mr. Widlund, the English teacher for sophomores and AP English Literature and Composition, teaches in room 421D. His class has had a broken air conditioner since before Covid. He has expressed his concerns many times to the school regarding the health of both the students and faculty. Even though the school sent two individuals to investigate this issue, the problem has yet to be resolved.

Mr. Widlund repeatedly voiced his concerns for students safety. He said, “Students have to take four flights of stairs to get to this classroom; so, if they do that and then there is no air conditioning, we’re looking at risks for people who may have asthma and mobility issues.”

Mr. Pettersen, who teaches ninth grade English in room 421A, has a different outlook on the broken air conditioners. He said, “The air conditioner unit not working hurt my ability to set expectations for my relationship with my new ninth graders.”

The ninth graders described Mr. Pettersen as wet when asked by their friends what they thought of him. He believes that because the students were only focused on his sweaty appearance, he was unable to project authority to them.

Mr. Petterson, in addition to his previous sentiments, said, “I don’t think it’s acceptable that the DOE allows students to walk into classrooms that are suffocating.” He expressed concern about the coming spring and summer when the humidity and temperature will be very high with no functioning air conditioner.

The AP Language and Composition teacher, Ms. Mornhinweg, who teaches in room 421D with Mr. Widlund said, “I’ve felt like I was going to faint before. I’m sure the students have felt that way also.”

She has been a teacher for five years, two of those years which have been at Pace, and with her time here, has never worked in a classroom with a functioning air conditioner.

Due to the lack of finances, broken air conditioners are not only an issue at Pace High School, but also at other schools in the DOE in New York.

In addition to making it difficult for students and staff to focus in class, the intense heat that they have to endure in the classroom. Uncomfortably humid and unstable learning environments can cause discomfort and minimize concentration.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Kushba Rimi
Kushba Rimi, People of Pace Editor
Kushba Rimi, a sophomore, is a member of the Pacer NYC staff. She is also the representative of the tenth grade SGO. She enjoys exploring the city and hanging out with her friends.
Katelynn Seetaram, Editor-in-Chief
Katelynn Seetaram is a junior at Pace High School and Editor-In-Chief of PacerNYC. Known for her many commitments and ability to take leadership in any situation, she has learned to provide a healthy fun environment for herself and others. When she isn't editing articles or attending zoom meetings, she's shopping for dog toys.

Comments (0)

All The Pacer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *