Students on the east side of Columbiaâ??s Jefferson Middle School are getting relief from the heat from a temporary air conditioner.
They call it Big Blue.
The west wing of the school built in 2004 has permanent central air-conditioning. The older part of the school relies on Big Blue to blow cold air into more than 20 classrooms.
Jefferson Middle School is the last Columbia public school without permanent air-conditioning for an entire building.
School officials said the temporary unit is doing a great job during the recent hot temperatures.
Principal Dr. Greg Caine said, â??It forces cool air into our air handling system that pushes through the old part of our building that doesnâ??t have the traditional, permanent air-conditioning yet. Itâ??s kept the temperatures very, very reasonable. Essentially, it feels like it is air-conditioned right now.â??
Columbia taxpayers spent about $50,000 on Big Blue.
School officials plan to install a permanent air-conditioning unit on the schoolâ??s east side this winter.