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Unique weather conditions led to closing school, superintendent said

Mathews County School Superintendent Nancy Welch told the board of supervisors on Tuesday that the problem with temperatures in the schools the day before, which resulted in the schools being closed, was a “building envelope problem” and not an HVAC problem.

Welch said that broad expanses of windows in the classrooms coupled with low temperatures and wind speeds of 35 mph created a setting in which the heating system couldn’t keep the classrooms warm. The boilers for the heating system ran all night Sunday, she said, but it wasn’t adequate to maintain the temperature.

However, after boilers were left on Monday night, the temperature of the air coming out of the vents was 90 degrees on Tuesday, she said, and the school system’s computer schematic showed that temperatures in all but two classrooms in all three schools was 68 degrees on Tuesday morning. In one classroom that has a complete wall of windows the temperature was 66 degrees but rising, she said,...

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