COLUMBIA, Mo. - Heat forced Jefferson Middle School to cancel class early eight times last year.
This year is a different story, with the temporary air conditioning unit some staff like to call "Big Blue."
"We've just been tickled to death to have that as an option for us, to be that stop- gap until next year when we get a full system in place,"says principal Dr. Greg Caine, Sr.
Jefferson Middle School is the last in the district to have a permanent air conditioning unit installed, but the temporary one is doing better than expected.
"My thought was that it would just keep it enough to be comfortable and tolerable because this third floor really gets warm, but it does so much better than that," said Chris Belcher, superintendent of Columbia Public Schools.
Teachers and students are enjoying their cooler classrooms. Several of the classrooms did not have fans, and one teacher was wearing a sweater.
"It's perfect. It is as cool as Battle High School, and that's new!" said Junko Oba, teacher at Jefferson Middle School.
The temporary air conditioning unit cost $50,000. The school will get a new permanent air conditioning system next year.
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