DENVER (CBS4) – When it’s too hot outside, it’s hard to do anything with a clear mind, especially learn. Many students at Denver Public Schools experience that because their classrooms aren’t equipped with air conditioners.
Scott Baldermann has two students who go to Lincoln Elementary.
“The kids can’t focus at all when it’s that hot, and then to top it off the teachers are the same way.”
When his oldest son started school a couple of years ago, he noticed for the first two weeks he wasn’t learning because it was too hot.
“It was pushing almost 90 degrees,” he remembered.
Baldermann knew he had to do something, but the cost of air conditioning made the idea of outfitting the school with AC unrealistic. So he thought, “what about fans?”
“For $400 apiece we could buy and install commercial grade window fans and install them in all the classrooms. So the summer of 2017, I came in and got all of those installed and then put them on timers so it created a house fan effect where at night at about 2 A.M. the fans would kick on and then it would bring in that really cool air during the night then it was almost in the low 70’s when school started.”
During the day the fans work alongside DPS’ swamp coolers as exhaust to pull cool air over the students. He says it’s made a huge difference. He can tell through his son’s behavior.
“The complaining has stopped,” he said.
The fans cost a total of $4,000, funding raised by the PTA. Baldermann says that’s much more cost effective than AC. He thinks it could be a solution for other hot DPS schools.
“DPS has over $2 billion or bond debt already, so I think it would be more appropriate to come up with an energy efficient solution that’s cost effective.”
The whole ordeal has motivated Baldermann to run for DPS School Board in District 1. He thinks he can use creativity from the community instead of more borrowed money to solve DPS’ issues.