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Students frustrated with heating issues at Gary high school

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EdisonLearning took over Roosevelt several years ago, however, officials said the district is still responsible for maintenance. (WLS)

Classes at a Gary, Ind., high school are expected to resume Monday after no heat in the classroom prompted class cancellations in the last two week as frigid temperatures moved into the area.

Problems with Roosevelt College & Career Academy's heating system have canceled classes three times in just the past two weeks, and twice students were dismissed early.

"We wear our coats. We wear gloves, hats, all of it," said sophomore Uhura Pompey

The cancellations have also prompted protests among students who said they have reached their boiling point.

"I feel that it is time to make a change," said Cary Martin, a Roosevelt senior, who was among student who met on Friday to air their frustrations.

Heating at the school has been a problem for several years, costing students weeks of time in the classroom. The school is in the cash-strapped school district of the Gary Community School Corporation.

"Get it together. Find solutions," said senior Antonio Carter.

Students, parents and pastors held a meeting Friday morning, calling for change.

"We got the same conditions in 2016 that we saw during the Civil Rights Movement," said the Rev. Marlon Mack, of Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church.

Students were already scheduled to be out of class on Thursday and Friday this week, due to the end of the grading period.

Maintenance crews have been using that time to work on the boiler room.

However, on Friday, ABC7 went from classroom to classroom and found that the heat is now working.

But for how long?

"Maybe a decade or so ago there was a couple of new boilers put in I believe. But it's kind it's just like your heart. When you put a new heart into your body, you have to make certain the arteries are cleaned out as well," said Cheryl Pruitt, superintendent of the Gary Community School Corporation.

EdisonLearning Inc. took over the struggling school several years ago, contracted by the state of Indiana.

However, Edison officials said the Gary Community School Corporation is still responsible for maintenance.

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