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January 19, 2018

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Air-conditioning failure closes Diskin Elementary, forcing students to attend elsewhere

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012 | 9:30 p.m.

Diskin Elementary

Diskin Elementary School will be closed Wednesday because its air-conditioning is not working, Clark County School District officials announced Tuesday night.

About 700 Diskin students were sent to Spring Valley High School around lunchtime Tuesday after the air-conditioning system failed, district spokeswoman Amanda Fulkerson said. Maintenance crews worked on the HVAC system until about 6 p.m. Tuesday, but were unable to fix the problem, she said.

Temperatures are expected to reach 100 degrees on Wednesday, and consistent air conditioning is necessary for a safe learning environment, Fulkerson said.

“We have to keep the safety of our kids in mind,” she said. “We can’t have class going on in that building tomorrow.”

Buses will pick Diskin students up on their normal schedule Wednesday morning, but will transport them to nearby Decker Elementary School, an air-conditioned school located about a mile away from Diskin. Students will be dropped off to their normal stops at the end of the school day Wednesday.

Parents and guardians of Diskin students who do not ride the school bus will need to transport their children to Decker. Diskin staff will greet students at Decker and guide them to the appropriate classrooms.

All Diskin students participating in the federal free and reduced-priced breakfast and lunch program will be served their meals at Decker.

Diskin students will be allowed an excused absence for the day should their parents or guardians choose to keep them at home on Wednesday. Parents and guardians are urged to call Diskin’s main office — 799-5930 — to report the absence.

The School District is notifying parents and guardians of the temporary school closure through automated phone calls and emails via the ParentLink notification system.

Diskin’s office staff will take shifts operating phones at Diskin on Wednesday. District officials urge families to be patient as they expect a high volume of phone calls Wednesday morning. All Diskin teachers will be working at Decker tomorrow.

District officials said they hope to resolve the air-conditioning issue at Diskin as soon as possible.

The HVAC system failure at Diskin is indicative of the larger maintenance issue the School District is facing across its 357 school buildings, Fulkerson said. In the wake of the recession, cash-strapped School District has delayed crucial renovation and maintenance of schools in order to save money, she said.

Anticipating a $5.3 billion school maintenance need over the next decade, the School District is pursuing a capital improvement plan that would help fix the most needy schools. The proposed six-year capital levy would increase property taxes by $74 on a home assessed at $100,000.

Although Diskin’s HVAC system is not on the list of immediate needs, it is still a “good example” of the type of projects slated for renovation if voters approve the property tax increase in November, Fulkerson said.

The Nevada Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a local libertarian think tank's lawsuit against the tax hike proposal on Wednesday morning. The Nevada Policy Research Institute -- which has publicly opposed the capital improvement plan -- sued the Clark County Debt Management Commission and the School District in late July, alleging the commission failed to take public comment on the proposed tax initiative before approving its placement on the November ballot.

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