Last sweltering start of school for West, Jefferson junior highs

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 | 6:15 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Students at Jefferson and West junior high schools will start the 2013-14 school year in buildings that are at least partially air-conditioned, said Nick Boren, deputy superintendent for Columbia Public Schools. 

All of West Junior High's common spaces, including the hallways, library, cafeteria and gymnasiums, will have permanent air conditioning by the start of the next school year, Boren said. He said that "most" of West's classrooms will be air-conditioned, and those that are not will have access to air-conditioned mobile classrooms.  

At Jefferson Junior High, mobile air conditioning units located outside the building will pump cool air into all spaces now lacking air conditioning, Boren said. In the summer of 2014, Jefferson will get a permanent air conditioning system. 

Eight times this school year, students at the schools were dismissed at 11:30 a.m. because of heat conditions. Jefferson and West are the only two public schools in Columbia that are not completely air-conditioned. 

Students will not have to make up the days missed because the heat dismissals still count as full days, district spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said in a previous Missourian report. 

Jefferson opened in 1911 as Columbia's high school and was converted to a junior high when Hickman High School opened in 1927, according to the district's website.

West opened in 1961. 

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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