Some Columbus students return to newly-renovated buildings

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus City School district has been working hard all summer to make renovations and updates to schools through Operation-Fix-It.

Last year voters passed a five-year, $125 million school levy that will target deferred maintenance needs across the district.

Over the summer the district was able to put central air in three buildings, Cassidy Elementary, Devonshire Elementary and Hamilton STEM Academy.

Teachers at Hamilton STEM Academy are making the finishing touches on their classrooms for the first day of school.

Fourth-grade teacher, Ritchie Harris says this school year will be a special one with a new air conditioning unit in his classroom.

“This will be my 12th year and never have I had air conditioning,” said Harris.

“It will be a game changer for us. Being able to work in conditions that is comfortable is important for everybody,” said principal Christopher Brady.

Brady says learning in a comfortable cool environment is important for a child’s health. Air conditioning was only in special education classrooms throughout the building. Now more than 40 brand new heating and cooling systems are sending out cool flowing air in each classroom and in the hallways.

“Up in the corner of the classroom you are going to see this cassette and it is connected to the equipment that is on the roof and it is able to provide the heating and cooling for this building,” said Alex Trevino, Director of Capital Improvement for Columbus City Schools.

Typically in the begin of the school year, during those hot and humid months teachers will bring in fans and water bottles to help keep students cool.

“Thinking and trying to concentrate on school and think through problems it is kind of difficult when you are over heated,” said Harris.

“If we have a full class of 30 students and it is still 95 degrees outside it’s going to maintain that 72 degrees inside.,” said Trevino.

“This is just one of many projects for Operation-Fix-It. The district plans to continue its updates throughout the school year. Click to see what updates are being made to your child’s school. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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