Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ewa Lawmaker Calls on Businesses to Help Cool Schools

Rep. LoPresti signs letters to local businesses seeking donations
State Representative Matthew LoPresti (District 41 - Ewa, Ewa Villages, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Ocean Pointe) is starting a community program to tackle the problem of high temperatures in our classrooms. The program, Cool Schools 4 Ewa, encourages local businesses to donate large fans or high capacity portable air conditioning units to schools in the Ewa area.

The ‘Cool Schools 4 Ewa’ program is off to a strong start with an initial donation of 54 large fans, with six provided personally by Representative LoPresti and another 48 from an anonymous contributor. The cooling fans were purchased with a discount provided by City Mill.

In addition to the program, Lowe’s Home Improvement has already donated 35 fans directly to Campbell High School.

Currently, many of the state’s public school classrooms are not equipped with air conditioning or cooling equipment. Temperatures in Honolulu have risen considerably which has resulted in high temperatures in our classrooms. In the Ewa district—one of the hottest regions on Oahu—classroom air temperatures have reached in excess of 100 degrees. Four of the top five schools on the Department of Education air conditioning priority list are in Ewa Beach.

Schools assisted by the program include Ewa Elementary, Ewa Beach Elementary, Holomua Elementary, Kaimiloa Elementary, Ilima Intermediate, and Campbell High School.

“Countless concerns have been expressed by the community regarding the temperature of our classrooms,” said LoPresti. “This is a significant problem that needs to be addressed, and I believe this program will engage our local businesses to step up and support the education of our children. With their help, we can create a comfortable and positive learning environment for our keiki.”

“As an educator and a father of two young children, this issue is near and dear to me. I gladly wanted to donate several units on my own and I hope to see more donations follow,” added Representative LoPresti. “I also want to thank and truly express my gratitude to those who have already contributed to this worthy and much needed cause.”

Since taking office, LoPresti, a member of the House Education Committee, has worked to secure $8 million total in funds for air conditioning in Ewa Schools including Ilima Intermediate School, Ewa Beach Elementary School and Ewa Elementary School. He also successfully petitioned Governor Ige to release $2.3 million in funds for air conditioning upgrades at James Campbell High School.

Businesses or individuals interested in donating can contact the Office of Representative LoPresti at 586-6080 for more information.

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