Local charter school working on fixing heat after boiler system issue

- With local temperatures in the 40s today and even colder weather on the way, you'd like to think your child's school is ready for the big chill, but not all of them are.

Kids at recess outside the Universal Alcorn Charter elementary school on the 3200 block Dickinson Street in Philadelphia’s Grays Ferry section were bundled up. They may have wanted to keep their coats on even after heading inside.


A tipster within the school tells FOX 29 they’re without heat and hot water and some of the kids with mom or dad on hand confirmed that tip.

"Was it cold in there?" one dad asked his son. “Yeah, it was cold in there," the little boy responded.

A mom asked her daughter the same question:  “Cold?”  the little girl nodded, her teeth chattering.

“They always have heating problems in this school,” said the mom. "Since I was going here."

To be clear, not everyone was shivering inside the school.

One little boy described conditions inside as “comfy.”

But school officials admit there’s a problem inside a building that appears to have been built in 1931.

They would not talk to FOX 29's Bruce Gordon on camera, instead releasing a written statement explaining that a boiler system was not working to capacity, and that a maintenance company was trying to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

The statement ended with this:  "We have informed parents/guardians that if they wish to pick up their child/children prior to our noted DISMAL (our highlighting) time they are welcome."

Late Wednesday night, the school sent a revised statement that changed the word 'dismal' to 'dismissal.'

Even so, not every parent got the word.   

“I haven't heard anything like-- this is news to me,” said one mom to FOX 29's Gordon. 

She admitted it would have been nice to find out about the boiler problem, not from Gordon but from the school. 

“It would have been nice."


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