I-TEAM: A/C issues impacted 41 Duval County schools on 1st day of classes

Days before start of school, there were 284 backlogged work orders, logs show

Close to 300 work orders were put in for broken air conditioning units in Duval County schools days before students went back to class, maintenance logs show.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Close to 300 work orders were put in for broken air conditioning units in Duval County schools days before students went back to class, maintenance logs show. 

The News4Jax I-TEAM learned that Duval County Public Schools was still working to fix dozens of A/C issues after students returned to school on Monday.

The I-TEAM requested maintenance records and received logs from the Friday and the Sunday before the start of school.

Logs show 284 backlogged work orders for broken A/C systems on Friday. Descriptions of the issues detailed leaking air conditioning units and rooms where the air conditioning was not working. 

Logs from Sunday -- the day before school started -- show the list of backlogged work orders for the heating, ventilating and air conditioning, or HVAC, systems across the district were down to 57.

According to records, 41 schools still had outstanding work orders for HVAC issues as of Sunday night. Work orders show the issues also impacted those schools -- including Stanton College Preparatory, where staff wrote a room inside building five had no A/C and was “hot” -- on Monday.

“All school-wide air conditioning systems are working. However, there may be individual areas in classrooms or hallways where the A/C is out," a school district spokesperson said in a statement Monday.

On Tuesday, Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene told the I-TEAM that the school district had addressed 150 work orders on air conditioning issues.

“It will continue to be an issue with this heat wave we are experiencing. We are addressing that issue. We still have not been able to address major HVAC systems being overhauled. All we are doing is repairing the symptoms of our aging HVAC systems,” Greene said.

The school district spokesperson told the I-TEAM later in the day that there were 119 open A/C work orders on Monday night going into Tuesday --- everything from being too cold, not cool enough or leaking A/C units.

"To clarify, all schoolwide A/C units are working. There are intermittent A/C issues being experienced in scattered classrooms or hallways throughout the district," the school district spokesperson said in a statement early Tuesday evening. "A/C work order listings fluctuate daily, as issues are addressed and new issues arise. Maintenance crews have been working throughout the day today -- as they had been working throughout the weekend -- to address maintenance work orders."

Below is a map showing which schools had A/C issues as of two recent maintenance "snapshots," one from Friday and another from Sunday. Green pins show completed work orders and orange pins represent issues that were still active as of Sunday. Numbers on the map represent clusters of pins, whether at one school or nearby schools. Click on the number to zoom in to that cluster and click on individual pins to see what the issue was, according to the DCPS data. Keep in mind that the district said it has addressed many repairs, but it expects more.

About the Author:

Kelly Wiley, an award-winning investigative reporter, joined the News4Jax I-Team in June 2019.