It’s Getting Hot in Here

Alex Bordin, Newspaper Editor

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The local government has taken the issue of our broken air conditioning and placed the decision into the voter’s hands so it can avoid blame.

As another long, hot Florida summer drags on, complaints continue school-wide about broken air-conditioning. It’s no secret that the AC in Bloomingdale breaks down periodically, but as it turns out this is a county-wide issue. Over the summer, ten schools had major air conditioning repair. But there are still 38 in “immediate need”, according to Tampa Bay Times.

Nearly every school in the county has had their air conditioning break down at least once in the last three years. Two years ago, Hillsborough High School suffered temperatures of 92 degrees Fahrenheit . . . indoors. Many teachers here in Bloomingdale have resorted to bringing plug-in fans into their rooms as they just expect the AC to break. On Monday morning (September 17th) classrooms in Bloomingdale without portable fans reached temperatures in the upper eighties.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, AC units in Hillsborough’s public schools only last half as long as they should- ten years, as opposed to twenty. But that means ten years before it is completely unusable. Room-to-room breakdowns happen much sooner than that. To fix this error, which causes distraction and misery throughout the school day, the School Board has placed a one-cent sales tax on the November ballot that will directly give funds to education maintenance. However, this has caused much controversy as the sales tax directly goes against a similar motion for transportation.

Unfortunately, the traffic and traffic accidents in this county are just as bad as the air conditioning. Now it is possible for both the transportation and education taxes to be passed, but this would raise Hillsborough County’s sales tax rate from seven percent to eight-point-five; the highest in all of Florida. Whether this happens or not is up to the county’s voters (who obviously do not want to lose more money) and they will not vote until November when the weather is already cooling off.

In the meantime, our school and all the others in this county are slowly suffering from lack of cold air. With fewer Hillsborough schools maintenance staff than there are High Schools, the situation gets more and more dire. So until November, think warm thoughts Bloomingdale.

Updated 9/18.