With winter on the doorstep, an ongoing renovation project will soon have Johnnycake Elementary School ready for the hottest days of the year.
By the end of January, workers will have completed a $1.65 million project to install central air conditioning in the school on Craigmont Road, according to first-year principal Lynne Palmer.
"There's no wrong time to install air conditioning in a school," said Charles Herndon, a spokesman for Baltimore County Public Schools.
Herndon said the project at Johnnycake Elementary included the installation of a water-chilled cooler and sound barrier; an electrical upgrade to power the new equipment; and the replacement of pipes, pumps and several air handling units.
The upgraded equipment will play a vital role in helping the children at the school, which has 657 students this academic year.
"In order for children to learn, it helps when they're not hot," said Palmer, who served as assistant principal at the school for three years before becoming principal this year.
The school did have some cooler zones when temperatures rose. Palmer noted that the main office, library and a few other rooms in the school had air conditioning.
Johnnycake is one of 10 schools the county selected for renovations based on geographic area and amount of work that needed to be done.
"Our position has been if we are able to fund or if we are given money for air conditioning installation in schools, we will do that," Herndon said.
Herndon said the county chose two schools from each of the county's five geographic areas that required renovations workers could complete quickly.
Riverview Elementary School was the other school in the southwestern portion of the county to receive a renovation, Herndon said.
Other schools to receive air conditioning were Loch Raven Academy and Ridgely Middle School in the Central Area; Randallstown Elementary and Old Court Middle schools in the Northwest Area; Glenmar and Harford Hills elementary schools in the Northeast Area; and Norwood and Deep Creek elementary schools in the Southeast Area.