Ellington's heatwave in the kitchen

Schools throughout the Tri-States dismissed early for the third day this week because of sweltering conditions inside the classrooms.

But even for schools with air conditioning, the heat can become overwhelming. That's the case for students and staff at Ellington School in Quincy.

"Our day is busy from the time we get here to the time we leave. It's go, go, go," Ines Kelley, the cafeteria coordinator said.

Kelley has felt the heat in the kitchen for the last 22 years at Ellington, but she says this has to be one of the hottest on record. Stuck in rooms without air conditioning, the thermometer inside the kitchen reads 91 degrees.

"Our mugs, we'll fill them up with ice and an hour later there's no ice in them," Kelley said. "We try to put all the windows up and turn on all the fans, but we have to be careful because the fans blow the pilot lights out. Right now, we have two ovens on and it's at 91. Yesterday, we had all the ovens on and it was horribly hot."

Cooks have even had to bring in more ice to help keep the food at a reasonable temperature while it's served to students in the next room.

"The heat radiates from the kitchen and the ovens are on full blast," Ken Mansell, the school's P.E. teacher said.

Mansell can feel the heat pouring into the cafeteria and gym and there's not much he can do about it.

"You can't prop the door open for security reasons. So, we just have separate fans going all around and it just gets very, very hot," Mansell said.

Ellington Principal Anne Cashman says the lack of air conditioning in this wing of the school is a subject brought up every year, but she says the building's structure would not support a new system and it would be too costly for the school.