Heating and air systems working overtime at Sandburg

Courtesy of Zainab Azeem

Courtesy of Zainab Azeem

Zainab Azeem, Features Editor

It’s too hot! Why is it freezing? It’s so hot outside, so why is it so cold here? Heard those phrases around school?

With areas around Chicago bringing in chills, the Sandburg building changes in accordance. But who is in charge of the building? You’ll find that Mr. Konsoer sits in his office making important decisions in his office in the east wing. 

“I’m in charge of maintenance, custodial, and in the grounds which is everything you see when entering the building.” 

The Carl Sandburg building was built in 1955, with nineteen additions with six different mechanical systems. The South building is the original building, with three different systems. 

“Throughout the school we have six different styles of air conditioning here, but the air conditioning system is a lot different than your home air conditioning. We go to an outside temperature where you at home go on the thermostat on the wall. So between fifty and sixty five degrees outside temperature, we call that free cooling. We take one hundred percent of the outside air. If the temperature drops below fifty degrees, the boilers or the heat comes on. Anything above sixty five degrees outside, the air conditioning is on.”

Mr. Konsoer further explains the problems that come with this dynamic weather, and how they attempt to solve it.

“Right now during fall this is the worst time of the year for this type of system because we try not to turn the boilers on until later and later because of the gas cost. Gas prices are way up so we have to keep that in mind too. You’re using taxpayer’s money so you gotta be conscious of that and what you can and can’t do.”

“Normally we don’t turn the boilers on until November unless we have a string of cold weather. From the fifties and down to the forties at night then we’ll go ahead and turn our boilers on. Then we could reach days when it’s ninety. Our boilers and air conditioning are on and off, and that’s with all schools and with all your commercial buildings. Our heating comes off the old radiator, hot water heat in some rooms, it depends on where you’re at in the building. That’s what drives us crazy.”

In addition to the building temperature, he also explains the long-awaited question of the north and south building not connecting. 

“In 2000, when we added this east wing onto it, they were supposed to do it. And for some reason they did not. I was not in this building, but I was over at Andrew at the time. But I think 2008 was when they put the link hallway in, and it was the Board of Education’s decision not to put a cross over on top. They just put the link in.”

Along with temperature and building issues, Mr. Konsoer deals with security issues, cleaning, and much bigger issues than daily temperature. 

“It’s challenging everyday because nothing matches up. You have to be on your toes and always thinking because what you think that should be happening is not happening so we’re always troubleshooting.”

Even with troubles, Mr. Konsour does all of these little check-ups and major issues for a bigger reason. 

“We have good kids and great teachers. If it weren’t for them we wouldn’t be here. Hopefully everyone tries their best, keeps their head on and learns as much as they can. A safe, healthy environment makes for a better learning place and a better attitude for everybody.”

As you pass by the east wing by the attendance office, make sure to thank Mr. Konsoer for his hard work, while also thanking all the staff members who keep the building to its highest quality. And make sure to bring a sweater or hoodie to keep yourself warm in the ever changing weather of Orland Park.