BEMENT, Ill. — Children in the Bement, Ill. community have air conditioned classrooms for the first time since the schoolhouse was constructed in 1899. Volunteers installed eight room air conditioners donated by Friedrich Air Conditioning Co., based in San Antonio.

The Bement Community Unit School District No. 5 was forced to dismiss classes early during the first week of school, when temperatures inside the brick building soared above 90°F in late August. With indoor temperatures continuing to reach the 80s and 90s, Friedrich’s executive team in Texas decided to ship free air conditioners to Illinois to offer the school relief.

“We really took this situation to heart and felt we had to do something to help the Bement community,” said Wink Chapman, Friedrich’s vice president of sales and marketing.

Located halfway between Decatur and Champaign, in central Illinois, the school serves grades pre-kindergarten through 12th. The Friedrich room air conditioners will be used in classrooms that serve elementary school children.

“This is an incredible gesture of generosity for someone as far away as Texas to think so highly of kids and education to do something like this,” said Sheila Greenwood, superintendent of the Bement Community Unit School District. Habegger Corp., Friedrich’s Midwest region distributor, helped to facilitate delivery of the systems, while Sub Zero Heating and A/C of Decatur will provide support moving forward.

“We’re proud to give back to the central Illinois community this way,” said Brad Svoboda, spokesman, Sub Zero Heating and A/C.

Publication date: 3/17/2014

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