Another day of heat, another day of early closings due to HVAC issues at Triangle schools

Five Wake County high schools so far on Thursday have had their schedules disrupted due to HVAC issues and the forecast of high temperatures.

Knightdale, Apex Friendship, Millbrook and South Garner high schools released students at noon or before. Willow Spring High School was closed Thursday.

All schools except for Millbrook also dismissed students early the day before due to the air conditioning issues.

Indoor after-school activities are also canceled at Willow Spring.

After-school activities will continue at Millbrook High School with adjusted times and locations. Students were provided lunch and transportation by school bus, according to the school’s website.

Heat and HVAC school issues

Thursday is expected to be 98 degrees with a heat index of 103, according to the National Weather Service.

On Wednesday, three Wake County high schools and two other Triangle schools were dismissed early because of air conditioning issues and high temperatures.

Highs on Wednesday in the Triangle were in the mid-90s to around 100 degrees, about 10 to 15 degrees above normal temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.

Issues surrounding air conditioning at Wake County schools have been problematic recently.

Last month, Wake County teachers in a private Facebook group compiled a list of HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) complaints at more than a quarter of the district’s 198 schools, The News & Observer previously reported.

School administrators blamed maintenance staffing vacancies and parts shortages for the issues.

Wake High Schools dismissed early

Apex Friendship, Willow Spring and Knightdale high schools all dismissed students before noon on Wednesday.

The HVAC systems in the schools were not working at full capacity, the schools said in separate statements.

The high temperatures and dangerous heat index are expected to continue through Thursday, according to ABC11, The News & Observer’s news partner.

Elementary, charter schools also released early

Wake Forest Charter Academy announced in an email to parents that it was dismissing K-5 students at 11:15 a.m. and grades 6-8 at 11:30 on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Due to supply chain issues, the parts for our air conditioning units are being delayed,” principal Randi Woodruff wrote in a message. “Please trust I am working alongside the Facilities Department with National Heritage Academies as this is our daily top priority. With the heat index the next couple of days being over 100 degrees, we feel as if this is not an environment that will be conducive to learning.”

Central Elementary School in Hillsborough also dismissed students at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

School staff was dismissed at 10:30 a.m. and was expected to work remotely, the district said.

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