COLD CLASSROOMS: Meeting held to discuss heating problems at Lowell HS

LOWELL, Mass. — The calendar may say fall, but the weather feels more like winter and some Lowell High School students aren’t finding much comfort from the cold in their classrooms.

“Today especially he texted me first thing in the morning and said I’m freezing. He sent a picture, 60 degrees in his classroom -- it was 39 at lunch,” Ann Draper said.

The heat-related issues began last week. A robocall went out to inform students and staff members to dress in layers. According to that call, boiler work had been completed, but the heat still wasn’t working in some parts of the school.

MORE: 12 classrooms among parts of Lowell HS with limited heat

But hours after the call went out, the operations manager told Boston 25 News that the heat was fully functional in all parts of the building, but in a building that size it was hours before it felt warm.

“I️ think the biggest issue is that we went to cold weather very fast and we had some issues when we turned the boilers on and we are working through those,” Head of School Marianne Busteed, said.

But over the weekend – another setback.

“Sometimes it goes into night mode and, because we are a little behind on software updates, when night mode switches into day mode it doesn’t work correctly,” Lowell HS Facilities Director Ricky Underwood said.

PREVIOUS: Lowell High School warms up in time for students to start school day

According to the operations manager, about a dozen classrooms were without any heat, while the heat isn’t working properly in the school’s gym, locker rooms, cafeteria and library.

Administrators explained the issue Monday night at a meeting of the Friends of Lowell High School.

As they work to find a solution, teachers in unheated classrooms are being told they can move to other areas of the building for now.

Though some may opt to ride it out where they are, hoping a fix is on the way.

State officials, as well as members of the Lowell Department of Public Works, were at the school Tuesday to assess what's taking place. The cafeteria, library and 13 classrooms were without heat.

City Manager Kevin Murphy said when students return to school Wednesday, he expects every classroom to have heat.

That meeting comes amid controversy over whether to renovate this high school or build a new one on the other side of the city.


25 Investigates tracks down the people behind those annoying robocalls