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Kenwood Academy’s Heating System Fails During Chicago’s Coldest Nov. 12 Ever — But Class Goes On

A record-low temperature of 7 degrees was recorded at O'Hare Tuesday morning, around the same time a motor failed in the school's heating system.

Kenwood Academy
Sam Cholke/DNAinfo
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KENWOOD — In the midst of a record-breaking cold spell, Kenwood Academy High School’s heating system failed Tuesday. Classes were held without heat, according to Chicago Public Schools.

In a letter to Kenwood parents and families, the district blamed a failed motor for the school’s loss of heat. The district became aware of the failure Tuesday morning.

The district’s facilities department worked to repair the system, and it was fixed at about 4 p.m. Tuesday.

A record-low temperature of 7 degrees was set at O’Hare International Airport Tuesday morning, breaking the previous record of 8 degrees set in 1986.

The temperature in Chicago was 17 degrees as of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

CPS officials monitored temperatures at Kenwood Academy at multiple points Tuesday and determined the building to be safe, according to the letter.

The situation did not require an evacuation, Chicago Fire Department spokesperson Larry Langford said.

Most students “experienced no disruption” to their school day, although one classroom was relocated to the cafeteria, according to the district.

Kenwood Academy officials declined to comment, directing requests for information to the district.