RICHMOND (WRIC) - Patrick Henry Charter School opened on Tuesday on a two-hour delay due to freezing temperatures, but as the day progressed, the classrooms became colder and colder and school wasn't let out early.
Classes for majority of the 230 students at Patrick Henry were actually moved into different areas of the building including the cafeteria and hallways.
School administrators had the heating system checked, they discovered that wasn't the problem.
"They brought in what's called a lazar point thermostat, and they had 100 degrees coming out of the heating units themselves," says Deborah Corliss of the Patrick Henry Charter School Board
Turns out the freezing wind chills made its way through the school's classroom windows.
"It's very difficult for the heating systems to keep up when you have that issue with the window," Corliss says.
By the time school administrators figured out the problem Tuesday afternoon, they had to make a tough decision.
"It was a ‘do we get school to be let out early' or ‘do we work with what we have?' We determined we could work with what we have. We felt the safety of the children and staff was fine."
Corliss says she and the principal evaluated the problem and determined school had to be closed for Wednesday as adjustments were made to the windows.
"I think when we get the installation around the windows, that's going to be extremely helpful," she says. "And when this arctic blast gets out of Richmond, that's going to be extremely helpful as well."
Long term plans are underway to either replace or renovate the windows in the 100-year-old building. However, the cost is in the ballpark of $500,000 and certain guidelines must be followed with the department of historic resources.
Meanwhile, the installation adjustments are expected to be done Wednesday evening and Patrick Henry plans to operate on the same schedule as Richmond Public Schools for Thursday.
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