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Air Conditioning is On the Way For Last Eight Springfield Public Schools Without It


Governor Jay Nixon visited a middle school in Springfield on Wednesday to highlight construction projects that came about as a result of interest free bonds made possible through the federal stimulus dollars. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore was there and has this report.

[Sound: Box fans]

Two box fans were the only cooling elements in the library at Jarrett Middle School in central Springfield. Just above the shelves of fiction, non-fiction and reference books, the ceiling was torn up to reveal the school’s ventilation system. This is one of eight public schools in Springfield that still don't have air conditioning. But that’s what the construction is all about—it’s on the way.

And it’s why Nixon stopped by this school. It’s an example of one of the projects that was awarded interest free bonds, funded by the economic stimulus package.

“The bonds are also going to help install energy-efficient windows at two elementary schools, enable the district to do electrical and technology infrastructure upgrades and extensive renovating at Hillcrest High School, complete electrical work at Glendale High, expand Westport Elementary and construct a gymnasium at Jeffries Elementary,” Nixon said.

Springfield Public Schools were awarded more than $7.5 million to go toward a larger, $50 million voter-approved bond issue, a project which includes putting air conditioning in all eight schools that still need it, and placing Smartboards and projectors in all classrooms that do not have them.

Nixon’s office estimated that since the awarded bonds are interest free, taxpayers in the Springfield School District alone will save about $5.5 million dollars in interest.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.