Tulsa's Edison Prep Heating School On One Boiler

Monday, November 25th 2013, 10:24 pm
By: Tess Maune

It was a cold day in the classroom for some Green Country students. After a Friday meltdown, only one of Edison Preparatory School's two boilers was working Monday. That one working boiler wasn't turned on until 5 a.m., and that wasn't enough time for it to make much of a difference in a school that's more than a quarter-million square feet.

When school let out, Edison students were doing whatever they could to keep warm, much like they were doing in the classroom.

"It felt just about the same in some parts of the school, like, the doors would open and it would just be a rush of cold air," said sophomore Bailey Kietzman.

Kietzman said, with the exception of a few classrooms, that cold air stuck around most of the day.

"We all had to bring our coats in and it was just too cold," Kietzman said.

It was so cold, some students said it was difficult to concentrate.

"I was just really cold, I really couldn't do any work," said senior Mauvacia Beavers.

Students said it was even worse Friday. That's when administrators realized something was wrong in the boiler room. The school said the piping above its two boilers cracked, so, while the boilers were working, they weren't pushing out heat, just steam.

An automated message was sent to parents, but school wasn't canceled.

"The principal just talked to us and told us that it's going be really cold and, so wear your coats," Kietzman said.

Bob LaBass, with Tulsa Public Schools, said one of the pipes was repaired over the weekend, which means just one boiler will be responsible for heating Tulsa's largest school for at least another week, and maybe until after Christmas.

LaBass said he is not concerned about the working boiler getting overworked.

The boilers were installed in the early 1990s, but they won't be there much longer. By the next school year, district officials say Edison will have installed high efficiency boiler systems.

"[They're] much more efficient, so we'll be using less energy to heat the building," LaBass said.

LaBass said the district planned to install the new system before the breakdown. It will be paid for with money from a 2010 bond.

The one working boiler will run 24/7 until the other is fixed. Repairs to the pipe going to that second boiler are expected to be complete by next Monday.

Students say the classrooms were a little warmer by the end of the day, so administrators hope the school will be back to normal by the time the bell rings Tuesday, then they'll be out the rest of the week for Thanksgiving break.