Exmouth Community College students brave cold snap
STUDENTS who have been working in close to freezing temperatures can now wear outdoor coats and scarfs in classes after a boiler failure at Exmouth Community College. Principal Tony Alexander has relaxed the dress code at the school following a massive l
STUDENTS who have been working in close to freezing temperatures can now wear outdoor coats and scarfs in classes after a boiler failure at Exmouth Community College.
Principal Tony Alexander has relaxed the dress code at the school following 'a massive leak' in pipe work which serves more than 20 rooms in the science and maths building on the Gypsy Lane site.
Engineers have been unable to find the source of the leak. Mr Alexander said it appeared the only solution was to replace the entire heating system - which could cost around �400,000.
Instead of closing the affected building, teaching has continued, and rooms have been fitted with 25 electric heaters and a number of mobile gas heaters.
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Mr Alexander said: "The building is still in use purely because my staff and students are willing to work in conditions that are not ideal and in some cases are far from comfortable.
"It is a much better alternative than closing parts of the college and I don't want to do that.
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"We have relaxed our normal uniform code in that, if classes are cold, they can wear outdoor coats and scarfs if necessary.
"But now that we've been allowed to have gas heaters, I'm hopeful it should alleviate that need.
"Staff morale has been high although, by the end of the day, I think they are getting tired because it has been extremely cold."
Mr Alexander said there were a number of different heating systems in the college, many of which were very old and antiquated.
"We commissioned a report three years ago, at a cost of �15,000, which identified all the problems (in the heating system)," he said.
Mr Alexander, when asked why the problem wasn't sorted them, said: "I can't answer that, Mr Britton.
"We set aside some funds but clearly, funding of this magnitude is beyond a school and we will need help and assistance. We are looking to the (local education) authority to provide that.
"I am obviously hoping they will treat us as an emergency. I have already had support from the leader of the council, Mr Hart, and councillor Christine Channon.
"I believe help and support will be on the way. We look forward to receiving it and making a long-term plan to ensure this doesn't happen again.