Cold weather, failing boiler force kids from classrooms - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Cold weather, failing boiler force kids from classrooms

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About 40 students had to work out of the library at Rex Bell Elementary on Friday because of a failing boiler. (FOX5) About 40 students had to work out of the library at Rex Bell Elementary on Friday because of a failing boiler. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Freezing temperatures are making already-full classrooms at a Valley elementary school even more crowded.

On Friday, one of the boilers at Rex Bell Elementary broke down, forcing students from 10 classrooms.

The school is pointing to the failure of a bond measure in last year's election as the root problem. The school district said Rex Bell would have been rebuilt had voters passed the 2012 capital improvement project.

Principal Jaymes Aimetti said the school is plagued by constant maintenance problems, including the boiler.

About 40 students were packed into the library at Rex Bell on Friday, with teachers trying to instruct two classes.

Aimetti said that Rex Bell was built in 1963, and the boiler is as old as the school.

"I always joke and say it looks like one of the boilers you would find on the Titanic," Aimetti said. "It's very difficult to find parts that would be compatible to work with the boiler."

Teacher Peggy Lewis had to move her classroom Friday. She said the failing heating system is negatively affecting learning.

"It's hard to do the normal procedures we do daily, and the students are very uncomfortable in the classroom," she said.

"We are a two-star school. There are so many factors involved in ensuring that we progress. Having a comfortable climate, environment is vital," Aimetti said.

Aimetti said that in addition to the boiler problems, his school has plumbing issues. Maintenance workers have been at the school, trying to get the boiler going, but said there's only so much they can do given its age.

The school district is mulling another tax measure. It could appear next year or in 2016.

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