LAFAYETTE PARISH, La. (KLFY)– This summer brought a big problem to light in Lafayette Parish: the lack of air conditioning on school buses.
According to the Lafayette Parish School Board, most of the buses do not have A.C. Board members addressed the issue at Wednesday’s meeting.
“We do have some that are currently air conditioned,” Lafayette Parish Associate Superintendent Mark Rabalais said. “A lot of the newer buses that we purchase do already come equipped with an air conditioner. So, this would be looking at what it would take to update the older buses in our fleet.”
The school board asked Interim Superintendent Francis Touchet Jr. to research and prepare a report about adding air conditioning to the older school buses.
The board wants the report to include three main things: the feasibility of putting air conditioning in existing buses, the potential cost and a potential timeline.
“Just coming off the summer that we had, I think a lot of districts are following suit to see what it would take to provide more comfort on the buses, especially with our students riding in the heat of the summer, especially early August,” Rabalais told News 10.
“As we consider our kids are on the bus for a good while, we want to make sure we ensure as much comfort as we can, especially when we face extreme weather and heat that we’ve recently started to kind of come back from this past summer,” he added.
As the project is expected to be costly, the school board hopes to include this project in the 2024 fiscal year budget.