Lawmakers approve $100 million for cooler classrooms

State lawmakers Friday approved spending $100 million on heat abatement in public school classrooms, – ranging from ceiling fans and solar-powered vents to air conditioning—bringing relief to teachers and students.

The proposal approved by state House and Senate conference committee late Friday afternoon called for “the installation of and equipment for air conditioning, heat abatement, and other energy efficiency measures for schools.”

“Today was a huge victory for students across the state who will finally be able to focus on their learning rather than the heat,” said HSTA President Corey Rosenlee. “We are so grateful that lawmakers are helping to improve the learning environment for students across the state by cooling these classrooms.”

“This money is going to allow us to experiment and bring the cost of air conditioning classrooms down,” Rosenlee said, pointing to the example of two elementary schools on Molokai that converted quickly and affordably to air conditioning using solar technology this spring.

As of mid-April, the DOE reported about 37 percent of its 11,820 classrooms have air conditioning.

The DOE has completed assessments of classrooms at the top 32 schools on its heat abatement priority list. The DOE said the project will be divided into installing solar-powered air conditioning for all portable classrooms and other heat-abatement measures including photovoltaic and split-system AC on permanent buildings.

The procurement process has already begun, the DOE said, with the contractor pre-qualification process underway and requests for information from contractors begun during spring break, soliciting prices and methods for cooling classrooms, from air conditioning and roof coatings to ceiling fans, the DOE said.

This is the list of schools that are being evaluated for the potential for the recently announced expansion to cool more classrooms by the end of 2016. This does not mean all classrooms at these campuses would have air conditioning installed.

1.    Ewa Beach Elementary ​
2.    Ilima Intermediate
3.    Campbell High
4.    Kamaile Academy (Conversion Charter)
5.    Kaimiloa Elementary
6.    Nimitz Elementary
7.    Mokulele Elementary
8.    Pearl Harbor-Kai Elementary
9.    Lehua Elementary
10.  Waimalu Elementary
11.  Aliamanu Elementary
12.  Aliamanu Middle
13.  Waipahu High
14.  Ewa Elementary
15.  Barber’s Point Elementary
16.  Waipahu Intermediate
17.  Pearl Harbor Elementary
18.  August Ahrens Elementary
19.  Waipahu Elementary
20.  Waialua High & Intermediate
21.  Leihoku Elementary
22.  Honowai Elementary
23.  Nanakuli Elementary
24.  Nanakuli High & Intermediate
25.  Kaunakakai Elementary
26.  Kilohana Elementary
27.  Manana Elementary
28.  Princess Nahienaena Elementary
29.  Lahaina Intermediate
30.  Lihikai Elementary
31.  Kekaha Elementary
32.  Kahakai Elementary
33.  Maui High