Porterville-area schools preparing for hot finish to school year

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The fans were a temporary solution to the school's need to have cold air in the gyms while they await the launch of their new cooling system - which will replace the original one installed in 1999. (KFSN)

Granite Hills High School Principal Apolinar Marroquin wasn't completely sold on ceiling fans right away.

The fans were a temporary solution to the school's need to have cold air in the gyms while they await the launch of their new cooling system - which will replace the original one installed in 1999.

In the meantime, Marroquin says, the fans are doing their jobs, and better than expected.

"To kind of cut that heat just enough to make it comfortable for practices, for athletics and functions here in the gym it circulates the air much, much better," Marroquin said.

Marroquin says the school has also added a couple of chiller units to cool down classrooms. The new cooling system for the gyms will be online within weeks, just in time for summer sports.

"It's been a couple of years coming with the new system and we're excited about firing it up," Marroquin said.

"People are going to be more cooler here, working out, it'll be way nicer," said Granite Hills Senior Eric Vargas.

Action News spoke with Granite Hills' athletes Eric Vargas and Brandon Escalera Monday afternoon during their weightlifting class.
They say they drink lots of water, watch over one another, and take breaks.

"We take about a five minute break, have to let our muscles recoup a little bit and then we start working out again," Escalera said.
At the beginning of the school year, and towards the end, Marroquin says they keep a close eye on two issues: air quality and heat.
If temperatures climb above 100 degrees, they'll scale back outdoor activities.

"We'll keep them in the gym, (or) mini gym," Marroquin said. "We also strategically decide to have aquatics or swimming units at the beginning or at the end of the school year to kind of accommodate where we can still have students in the swimming pool."

You will not find a pool at John J. Doyle Elementary School, but there's plenty of water for students to drink to stay hydrated.

The trees also provide them with shady spaces-the coolest place to play during the hottest of recesses.

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