After 3 days, Chicago heatwave about to end

June 8, 2011 2:57:49 PM PDT
It is day three of a sweltering heatwave that has blanketed the Chicago area. Some Chicago Public Schools are taking steps to protect its students from temperatures in the 90s.

A cold front Wednesday night could bring some relief.

This heatwave is difficult for high school students who attend Chicago Public Schools, and the reason why is this is finals week and not every classroom, at least on the high school level, is air-conditioned, so those students are facing a difficult time.

It was an exciting day at Chicago's Foster Park Elementary, where students who are learning about the lifecycle of butterflies released hundreds. Wednesday's outdoor classroom on the South Side was a steamy one. Inside, the school is using fans, and the principal says, aside from this special project, all kids have been moved to air-conditioned classrooms. That's not the case at Richards Career Academy, where Erik Kutz has been trying to teach.

"Our freshmen and juniors are trying to take their final exams in this heat. They are looking very bad, very exhausted. I'm very concerned about them," said Kutz.

Kutz says he placed this thermometer inside his classroom. Temperatures hit between 90 and 92 degrees on Wednesday.

"Once you get up to, like, the third floor up here, it becomes an oven. This is a brick building. It is a brick oven and it does nothing but bake you all day long," Kutz said.

"Can't concentrate," said sophomore Malcom Williams.

Just down the street, at Libby Elementary, fans were spinning in several windows.

Kameca Burgie has four children who attend Libby. She sent them to class well-prepared to deal with the heat.

"I made sure they had the thinnest clothes possibly and last night I filled water bottles for them and put them in the freezer," said Burgie.

In Little Italy, the heat bolsters business -- at least if you're selling Italian ice at Mario's.

"It's good. I like it. We like working in this, so we like the business and people like lemonade," said Marco DiPaolo, the owner's grandson.

"I come here once a week every summer. I come here and enjoy it. It's a routine I do," said John Angeletti.

"This is more like August and September weather, but we might as well get used to it," said Kathleen Fitzpatrick.

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