Lightning Strikes High School And Affects Air Conditioning


Ava Van Gelder

Westside High School will be offering summer school courses online this year due to COVID-19.

Earlier this morning at around 6:25, an area of Westside High School was struck by lightning. High school Facilities Manager, Virgil Coleman, was driving to school when he saw a flash of lightning.

“When I was driving into work, I was just south of William [Street] and I looked up and I saw the lightning hit the building,” Coleman said. “It was either our building or the church. [And] as soon as I pulled into the parking lot, I saw that all of our outside lights were off.”

Coleman said the lightning affected the communication for the air conditioning units throughout the building. 

“[The lightning did not affect] all of them,” Coleman said. “If they were running when it went down, they’re still running but if they weren’t running, they aren’t coming back up until we get it up. It affected the guidance area, the 300 wing, the Pacific wing and main office. Anywhere that has VAV boxes.”

Head of the Guidance department, Vicki Londer, said she was negatively affected by the lack of air conditioning.

“It is hot and I can’t breathe,” Londer said.

Senior Carl Brown was in the Guidance IMC when there was no air conditioning and said that he did not mind the temperature. 

“It’s not too bad right now because it’s always cold in here but I’m pretty sure it will get bad,” Brown said. 

Coleman said that this is the first time it has happened in 2 ½ years. At 10:13, Coleman sent an email announcing that the air conditioning was back up and running and thanking Westside students and staff for their patience.