Hot schools are a hot topic across the province, and right here in the Rainbow Board as well according to Trustee candidate Richard Eberhardt, a former classroom teacher.
“I’ve been there. I know how draining hot classrooms can be on students and staff alike,” says Eberhardt. “Our older schools are vital community and educational infrastructure, but the heat particularly on their upper floors can be extreme.”
In speaking with education professionals about the first days of the school year, Eberhardt has heard a smooth start has been made more challenging when the temperature is hovering around 30 degrees. Beyond a comfort issue, learning and even health can be affected.
“Hot days will continue to come earlier in spring and stretch later into the fall, so overheated classrooms will remain a hot issue,” says Eberhardt. “This is a problem the newly elected Rainbow Board will have to tackle, even without promised provincial funding.”
A $100M retrofit fund for Ontario schools was cancelled in mid-summer by the new government.
“Those funds could be making our school system cheaper to operate, solving some of these issues using new and emergent technology that could work even in older buildings built for heating not cooling,” says Eberhardt.
As the Program Director for the non-profit Green Economy North program, Eberhardt leads an expert team dedicated to identifying and solving efficiency and space heating challenges. With a goal of cost saving while fighting climate change, the program works with many of Sudbury’s largest employers to address similar concerns.
“The solutions exist. While there are no quick fixes to the board’s facility needs, we know that efficiency retrofits pay back over time, making them the most attractive improvements to older buildings. Those retrofits can include addressing excessive heat in the classroom, an urgent need which can’t be ignored,” he says.
Richard Eberhardt is a candidate for RDSB Trustee in Area 2, including Levack, Onaping, Dowling, Chelmsford, Azilda and the Donovan areas of Greater Sudbury.
Program Director of reThink Green, a former elementary classroom teacher, longtime constituency assistant to the MP for Sudbury, and chair of the Social Planning Council of Sudbury, Richard has a long history of community engagement and leadership, and a true passion for public education.
Contact Richard Eberhardt: