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AC system causes speculation

Elizabeth Foulston

Elizabeth Foulston

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Central has enhanced their air conditioning system, which now provides school-wide cooling for the first time in its history. The $12 million project did not replace the old system, but combined it with a chiller that does not produce emissions when in use, keeping to the school’s ‘Red Goes Green’ mentality. However, reviews of the air conditioning, and its environmental efficiency, vary.

“We had a meeting about the new air conditioning system and what was going to fuel it, and I asked them why they didn’t consider a geothermal system. In the long run it’s more cost effective, more environmentally friendly, and it’ll save the taxpayers money,” said Eric Jensen, science teacher and founder of the AP Environmental Science course at Central.

Principal Michael McGrory said that they considered environmentally friendly options, but they weren’t practical to do with the construction project that took place over the summer. However, this construction project is part of a plan that will give them the opportunity to add certain environmental features down the road, should they choose to.

“We spent a tremendous amount of time with energy conservation and going green—that’s the direction the district is heading in right now,” said Pat Hurley, head of the Buildings and Grounds Department at Central. Hurley worked on this project with McGrory and Assistant Principal of Operations William Walsh over the summer.

“I don’t think they could have been thinking about the long-term effects of this project,” Jensen said. “This building isn’t going anywhere, so people who are planning for its future have to not think in years, but in decades. What do they want this building to look like, how do they want it to operate with its heating and cooling, which is the biggest carbon footprint buildings have on the environment.”

But regardless of the environmental effects, students seem to be appreciating the new cooling system’s benefits during school hours.

Senior Jill Pocius said, “I think the air conditioning is great. Some of my classes are really cold, and the hallways are really hot, but otherwise, I really like it.”

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The news site of Hinsdale Central High School
AC system causes speculation