Cole grades are separated by floor, with 6th graders on the first floor, 7th graders on second floor and 8th graders on third.
One student was taken to the hospital by rescue and two others were picked up by their parents after becoming woozie from the heat last Wednesday while on the third floor at Cole Middle School, Supt. Victor Mercurio has confirmed.
The students, all eighth graders, recovered quickly, Mercurio said.
He said this was the first time since the new Cole opened that students had to be removed because of heat. The high temperature Wednesday, June 18, was 86 degrees.
Cole does not have air conditioning throughout the building, a decision made during the design phase of the project based on the additional cost. The main office, the library and some classrooms (ones used year round or that have equipment that needs to remain cool) have air conditioning.
The building does have a ventilation system and according to facilities director Bob Wilmarth, the system does help.
“On Wednesday, it was 80 to 85 [degrees] on the third floor, so it does help a bit,” he said. “We have some control over the ventilation system – we can run the units at night.”
“There is a ventilation system in the building that is responsible for balancing the temperature in the building,” said Mercurio. “I think as it relates to HVAC not just at Cole but at any of the buildings … the deeper you go into June the more likely you’ll get really hot days.”
Mercurio and Wilmarth both said there were no plans to deal with the heat on the third floor – which gets the bulk of the heat transmitted through the large glass panels on the south side of the building.
“It’s a Building Committee conversation,” Mercurio said, noting that the panel – a subcommittee of the School Committee – next meets on Monday, July 14.