Schools in the summer have a time capsule, like the ones politicians bury on construction sites everywhere. It’s not uncommon for a janitor to wander empty hallways filled with graffiti referring to summer, sunny cardboard, or farewell letters. In Valdelagrana Public School Library, In El Puerto de Santa Maria“In the name it’s worth it,” warns Superintendent Manuel Jesús – has more fanfare than expected for a Friday in July in the sweltering heat. He just communicated to the four fans that Sunday should calm down the members of four polling stations as best he can. Behind Schedule A in Section 4 is light blue cardboard that says “Happy Holidays” in colorful letters. Pure poetry.
Like this educational center in Cádiz, Spain has as many as 22,562 polling stations where they will run this. Extraordinary Summer Election Day To reduce temperatures as much as possible. In most cases, municipalities are responsible for these logistics. Some are very strict, who will only choose to distribute thousands of bottles of water, and more generous, who will even buy air conditioning units. In the medium term, it added concessions like the one in El Puerto, which, in addition to delivering 1,500 containers of water, moved tables to cooler environments in the same building and distributed up to 30 fans, like the one Manuel Jesús put in at noon last Friday. Through our media, we will cover what other departments have not. The worst thing is that, for little money, there were unforeseen expenses and administrations sluggish, ”complains Javier Bello (PP), first vice-mayor of the city of Cádiz, who has invested 550 euros in the purchase of water. “Although the sub-delegate of the government has promised us that the expenses will be taken over, the money has not yet arrived,” the mayor qualifies.
At CEIP Valdelagrana, Manuel Jesús already has the bottles in his study room fridge, where there is still a bottle of the cava with which the teachers roasted at the end of the course for a reason only they will know. “We changed the eight tables in the dining room, where it’s very hot, and put them in the classrooms and library, which are cooler,” explains the maintenance worker who, in addition to working overtime this Sunday, had to adjust his summer work schedule for classroom painting and repairs so that the areas to be used on Sunday wouldn’t be full sleeved. “There will be tables in offices or teachers’ rooms, where there is air or where it is cooler,” Bello explains, about the strategy that has been expanded to the rest of the city’s voting stations.
The same resettlement strategy has been followed in other Andalusian municipalities, where higher temperatures are expected, such as the approximately 40 degrees expected in El Coronel (Seville). “Of the six tables we have, three have moved,” explains the city’s mayor, Jose Lopez. A similar decision was also followed in the Municipal Council of Jaén or the City of Seville, where they also distributed portable air conditioners. In the case of Jaen, they will make up for the lack of air conditioning in 15 of the 39 polling stations with 50 fans provided by the sub-provincial delegation, Jenis Donner reports. In the capital, Cádiz, they have already equipped 20 out of 65 centers, in this case, with their own fans, according to reports from their council.
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Among the coolest town halls in Andalusia is Benalmádena, which now has as many as 25 air conditioners. “Then it will be donated to educational centers,” municipal sources explained. Antequera, for its part, has rented 30 devices that will be located in the polling areas, where 22 cold water dispensers will be located, Nacho Sanchez reports. On the other hand, in Cadiz, municipalities such as Jerez de la Frontera will be limited to distributing 5,000 water bottles in 101 schools. In almost all the cases that have been consulted, the municipalities have transferred the operation or coordinated it with the Andalusian Health Service or the Civil Protection to avoid any accident such as dizziness or heatstroke, in instructions given by the electoral councils, as explained by the Cadiz City Council.
“After all, these are buildings intended for use from September to June and not on these dates,” Bello denounces. They don’t see it the same way on the platform of the Escuelas de Calor, which brings together up to 200 mother associations in the province of Seville. The group believes that Sunday will help “verify the temperature conditions that exist in Andalusian educational centers and that our schoolchildren and their teachers suffer from,” according to a statement issued by the authority this week. “It is insulting and reveals the very little respect that the Junta of Andalusia has for the educational community, and the fact that on the occasion of election day municipalities such as Seville and Granada are considering air-conditioning classrooms with fans or placing polling stations in dining rooms or multi-purpose rooms in our educational centers, which are generally the only spaces that have air conditioning,” they add of the group.
In fact, parents encouraged voters and members of polling stations to wear yellow or carry a fan of that color, take a picture and upload it to social networks with the hashtag # AulasSíSaunasNo. “And remember, if you see an air conditioner, it’s paid for, shared by families,” he adds in his tweet from Escuelas de Calor. Goalkeeper Manuel Jesus would prefer not to enter Honduras. After arranging several elections since 2014 – with comings and goings – he started working at that school, hoping only to respect the weather at his first election of the summer and the members of the tables “in the best possible way”. With booths equipped with their ballots, tables, chairs, ballot boxes, and fans, this time around, the only thing missing are these.
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