Bats booted from Cortez Middle School

Administration still addressing warm temperatures

Keywords: Poll question,

Some 30 bats came to Cortez Middle School on Monday. Not the baseball kind.

Principal Jamie Haukeness said 15 to 20 bats were in the gymnasium and another 15 were in the band room.

Volleyball coaches alerted Haukeness to the situation shortly after 7 a.m. Monday and animal control was called. Maintenance personnel assisted the animal control officers in corralling the bats, Haukeness said.

The bats presumably got into the school through spaces in the ceiling when tiles were taken out during maintenance.

Workers have been installing wires and sensors in the building as part of a digital control system for air conditioning and heating, said Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 Chief Financial Officer Melissa Brunner.

She explained that the work was supposed to have been done prior to the start of school, but workers discovered that some valves used in the cooling/heating system weren’t working.

The workers should be wrapping up their work shortly.

Physical education students were directed to go to the weight room or outside, while band students were in the library, Haukeness said.

Temperatures in some of the school’s buildings were “in the 80s” on Monday, he said.

Fans were being used in classrooms.

The school district continues to try to figure out a way to cool the school. Re-1 Maintenance Foreman Mike Chenard is currently trying to obtain prices for painting around seven air-flow handlers located on the black roof. Painting those areas white would reduce the temperature inside the building, Chenard believes.

The cooling issue arose when the air chiller at the school broke. It would cost $90,000 to replace, including parts and labor, and the district is looking into converting the air-flow handlers into swamp coolers.