by Kate Evans
The brutal early September heat raised the issue of the lack of air conditioning in the Paw Paw Schools gymnasium during sports games and events. The Morgan Messenger was contacted by an individual attending the Tuesday evening September 5 Paw Paw Schools volleyball game about it being very hot inside the Paw Paw gymnasium. The outdoor temperature was around 99 degrees at the time.
The Morgan Messenger asked Morgan County Schools Superintendent Kristen Tuttle about whether the Paw Paw Schools gym had air conditioning and if not, whether there were any plans to install air conditioning soon.
Morgan County Schools Superintendent Tuttle advised The Morgan Messenger in an email that there is no air conditioning in the Paw Paw Schools gymnasium, but that there is air intake, fans and moving air. The temperature is estimated to have been in the low 80s inside the gym on an extraordinarily hot week.
Superintendent Tuttle noted that the news was saying that it’s the hottest summer on record and that they are investigating the possibility of adding air conditioning to the Paw Paw gymnasium. Air conditioning was considered for the Paw Paw gym a couple of years back, but it was decided to put the money toward Paw Paw Schools classroom air conditioning needs instead, she said.
Tuttle said that it’s really only an issue for a few weeks a year. They are planning to seek updated pricing for air conditioning in the Paw Paw gymnasium and will discuss the project at their next building and grounds committee meeting.
Tuttle also responded to questions about the procedures and policies involved in deciding whether sports games or events will take place or not in the event of high heat or other weather conditions.
“The school administration, athletic directors and coaches of both schools discuss the event or practices. Sometimes events and practices are postponed, sometimes they are cancelled, and some are delayed to a later time in the evening,” Tuttle said.
“We make sure to increase breaks and water intake as well. Safety of students is always a priority and considerations are always given to weather, be it storms, snow, cold, ice, heat, wind, etc. Coaches are trained on monitoring the conditions of athletes and circumstances,” she added.