Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 direct/can also WhatsApp same number or Email ALL news;                               ads call 1-284-440-6666

'Doug' Wheatley appalled at plans to fit schools with AC units

- suspects that air conditioning contributes to mould situation
Host of the 3D Show, Douglas Wheatley, said he was appalled at plans to outfit schools with air conditioning and suspected this played a role in the mould situation at the Isabella Morris Primary School. Photo: VINO/File
Wheatley felt that the Territory appeared to want to emulate everywhere else, noting that when he went to school, there were no air conditioning units and students often spent most of the day outdoors.
Wheatley felt that the Territory appeared to want to emulate everywhere else, noting that when he went to school, there were no air conditioning units and students often spent most of the day outdoors.
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Social commentator and radio host Douglas Wheatley expressed his displeasure at plans to place air condition units at schools throughout the Territory and believed that the this may have contributed to the current mould situation at the Isabella Morris Primary School in Carrot Bay.

“We need to take a pause,” said Wheatley on the 3D show aired on May 10, 2013, “but I think the tendency here isn’t to take a pause… just to go from one thing to the other.”

Wheatley felt that the Territory appeared to want to emulate everywhere else, noting that when he went to school, there were no air condition units and students often spent most of the day outdoors.

“I was appalled when I heard the Minister talking about air conditioning all the schools,” Douglas Wheatley said.

He added that this was not necessary at all. “It is far too expensive.”

The Isabella Morris Primary School was forced to close its doors earlier this week following the exacerbation of a mould outbreak that affected teachers and students and even forced some to seek medical treatment.

Stakeholders met with the Education Minister Hon. Myron V. Walwyn at the school’s compound on May 9, 2013 to discuss the way forward but have so far been unable to come up with a workable solution to the problem.

He also spoke about the Central Administration building complex which he felt was costing the Territory a ‘bundle’ in the area of electricity.

The host conceded that air conditioning may be needed for certain rooms in order to preserve certain documents, but reasoned that the entire complex did not need to be air conditioned, especially since it was so close to the water’s edge.

Meanwhile, commentator Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru believed that the installation of air condition units may have contributed to the current mould situation at the Isabella Morris Primary School in Carrot Bay.

“We need a proper investigation into what’s causing the mould,” he said, “many of us suspect it has to do with air conditioning.”

Sowande reflected on the plan by the Minister for Education and Culture to install air condition units all the schools of the Territory and felt it would be a bad idea. “I think that would be a horrible idea from the standpoint of the cost of it and also health,” he said.

“This thing is really causing more problems than it really needs to cause,” Sowande continued.

He felt that the problems with mould were only developing once schools were being outfitted with air conditioning. “It seems as though some of the moisture and whatever else… problems that we had… it never escalated to this point.”

The commentator also felt that keen attention needs to be paid to the situation so that the same errors were not repeated at other schools.

13 Responses to “'Doug' Wheatley appalled at plans to fit schools with AC units”

  • rape (11/05/2013, 09:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    more money for someone friends who sells ac
  • wow (11/05/2013, 09:06) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mr. Wheatley no disrespect but I think we are pass the age of not having air condition classrooms. Those days are far gone, they just need proper ventilation for the units. Can you imagine working in the Government Complex witout AC like you said? Come one Mr. Wheatley just don't say it is not need because you can say it! Think first... For example... can you work in the Ministry of Education in the receptionist area or in any other offices with the same layout without ac? They are located in the middle of area with other offices on both sides and no access to the windows. Now think about the statement you just made and stop basing your decision by thinking on the offices that are to the sea side which you would probably be in because of your position. This is where the government go wrong with most projects because people like you don't sit and analyze things in it entirety. We need AC classroom with proper ventilation.
    • Sigh (12/05/2013, 21:14) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      Who will foot the cost of the electricity bill for the Air Conditioning? We cannot expect our public schools to remain free when we demand all these things.
  • no maintenance (11/05/2013, 09:28) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Remember also that the BVI like to install things such as A/C and don't maintain them regularly. If they don't maintain the one at the hospital, will they maintain the schools? The sickness that people can get from inhaling air from a dirty unit is deadly. Myron-please use the AC money to get ALL of the children properly educated and get busy with the special needs situation. When I went to school, I had an old wooden desk where 8 of us sat around on a bench, the windows had to push up with a stick, and we had to scrub our desks and the floors. Our environment was clean and disinfected every week. More importantly, we learned. We had teachers like Enid Scatliffe and Obel Malone. No fancy classrooms, but they cared.
  • Confucius (11/05/2013, 09:43) Like (6) Dislike (105) Reply
    Installing air conditioning in schools (or any building) not designed to have air conditioning is just plain stupid. All sorts of problems will arise with humidity, mould growth and air quality. If they do go ahead with this very ill conceived plan, they had better plan to retrofit very large dehumidifiers throughout the schools as well.

    This is what happens when you put people in charge of things who don't have the first clue about what they are doing. They THINK they know best, but they don't. For once, PLEASE consult people who DO KNOW about such things before forging ahead with this plan.

    Either build NEW schools designed for air-conditioning or leave well enough alone!
  • ccc (11/05/2013, 10:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    where is myron on this issue?
  • hold on (11/05/2013, 11:23) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I can't see that in IMPS that the ac is the sole cause of the mould problem because truth be told, they haven't been working for nearly a year now because the repair man wasn't been paid. Also this school year is the first I ever heard about mould in our school & I would know because I have children attending the school over the years. I also strongly feel that the moron who was working on the school released some kind of chemical that has erupted this problem but we will never know because he is close to the minister & they will hide it. This is probably another version of Watergate as far as I am concern.
  • Is it a need? (11/05/2013, 11:43) Like (3) Dislike (85) Reply
    Let's talk priority here. Is AC a need? no. It is a comfort. The education system NEED some urgent stuff and it sure aint no AC. Get the kids properly educated. Get the resources the educators and teachers need to teach properly. Maintain what you have. Talk about too many children falling through the cracks - it is now an epidemic. Special needs is manifesting in ways we never imagined and it needs to be addressed. Walwyn - put stuff into priority first and then if you have change left, then give us the luxuries.
  • wow (11/05/2013, 14:56) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I didn't grow up with ac in the classroom and we did just fine. Taxpayers will be paying these electricity bills.
  • Saic (11/05/2013, 14:57) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    They made fuss for AC. Now they have it, it's a problem. Really a tough job being a government minister.
  • Eagle and Buffalo (11/05/2013, 17:11) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mold infestation at the Isabella Morris is in the news again. And many pther bloggers on this and othet on line soyes have attributed the infestation to air conditioning. True, poorly designed, operated and maintained air conditioning systems can caused mold. On the other hand, properly designed, operated and maintained systems will operate effectively and efficiently to provide comfort without causing mold growth. We probably need to hold our fire until a definitive cause of mold is identified.

    Further, because schools were not air conditioned in the 50s and 60s do not mean that they should not be today. Well, some areas did not have electricity in the 50s. Air conditioning is a comfort that is the norm in the developed and developing world. Some benefits include enhance productivity, protection and preservation of documents.......etc. True, poorly designed, installed, operated, maintained, cheap units can be pricey. But there energy efficient state-of-the-art brands on the market that are affordable to operate. These units can significantly improved the tonnage delivered per kilowatt hour, markedly lowering the operational cost. Sometimes you get what you pay for; cheap units equal high operating costs.

    Additionally, in regards to mold, the theory on mold infestation is basic. Control moisture and mold growth is arrested. Mold need moisture, a food sources and mold spores to flourish; and withholding anyone of these elements and mold is controlled. But the truth is that mold spores and food sources ( paper, wood products...etc) are everywhere and almost impractical to withhold. Moisture is the most practical to control. Stop leaks, flooding, stagnant water, condensation.....etc. and mold is controlled. So how can air conditioning systems contribute to mold infestation? Condensation, stagnation water in condensate drain pan and lines....etc. Stagnant water in pans and lines can caused Legionnaires health issue.
  • xx (11/05/2013, 20:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    dem beating a dead horse
  • Tilley (12/05/2013, 03:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree. The schools need no a/c. They all have lots of windows -open then. When I went to carrot bay scjhool it was far from hot, but then Andrew built a Jericho wall, which I do not think was necessary.

Create a comment

Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.