ST. LOUIS – Extreme heat and a failing air conditioning system led to kids being transferred out of a north St. Louis school for the day. It all happened Thursday morning at Pierre Laclede Elementary School on Kennerly.
Around 200 students in kindergarten through the eighth grade were put on buses and taken to nearby Stevens Middle School for the school day. Stevens is no longer an open school, but it has been renovated for various functions, and the AC works well there.
School officials shared that the air conditioning system at Pierre Laclede is old and is struggling in the heat. The school is also an old brick building that was built way back in 1904.
We’re told the AC system at Laclede has been scheduled to be replaced for some time but keeps getting delayed because of supply chain issues.
District leaders did not want to take any chances with the system breaking down completely, so they transferred the kids after they ate breakfast.
“It’s just a function of providing the best environment for kids to learn,” St. Louis Public Schools spokesperson George Sells said. “You know that it’s failing on you, and your choice is: you can wait for it to get worse, and then nobody is going to learn anything, or you can just go ahead and move. We’re catching this at the beginning of the day.”
The kids will be bused back to Laclede at the end of the school day for dismissal.
We’re told the plan is to bring a large portable air conditioning system to Laclede to keep the campus cool, so kids can stay there on Friday.