Von Steuben Middle School Appreciates New Air Conditioning System

Published 08/18 2014 08:08PM

Updated 08/18 2014 08:13PM

PEORIA - Peoria District 150 students headed back to the classroom today.

Teachers and students at Von Steuben Middle School know what it’s like to sweat out the first few weeks of class, but today they were sitting cool.

Second-year teacher Amy Hamilton spent her first few weeks at Von Steuben Middle School sweating out the heat.


“We didn't have air conditioning in our school. It was really almost unbearable,” said Hamilton, thinking about last year.


Without A/C, Hamilton cranked up three classroom fans, making her difficult to hear.


Things got so hot, the school had to come up with creative ways to keep kids cool.


“We tried to make accommodations for them, handed out popsicles and ice water, you know so they can deal with the heat,” said Principal Kristen Foreman


But Von Steuben Middle School will be different this year.

Last fall the District 150 Board approved a hefty, new air conditioning system, which was installed over the summer.


“I was so excited when we got air conditioning. I was like this is going to be the best thing ever.”


The project cost just under $2 million, but Principal Foreman says it really improves the classroom learning environment.


She believes it’s worth every penny.


“I think some people don't really understand how important the environment is also to teaching. Not just the instruction and discipline. The environment we also provide to the students is essential to their success,” said Foreman.


Now it’s Hamilton’s math tests that will have her students breaking out in a sweat, not the heat.


“It's like a Christmas gift. I mean something so small, um, can make a big difference.”


An air conditioning units were also installed at Woodrow Wilson Primary.


Grants from the State Board of Education helped pay for the systems.


That leaves Manual, Roosevelt Magnet and Washington Gifted as the four District 150 schools without air conditioning. Rolling Acres Middle School’s new addition is partially air conditioned, so it’s partially covered by A/C.

Grants from the State Board of Education helped pay for the systems.


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