Broken AC wilting locals at the Summit

By TIM SINIARD
Posted 7/12/19

Residents of Cleveland Summit, a Section 8 housing facility located in downtown Cleveland, have been sweating it out for several weeks due to a malfunctioning air conditioning system that has caused …

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Broken AC wilting locals at the Summit

Posted

Residents of Cleveland Summit, a Section 8 housing facility located in downtown Cleveland, have been sweating it out for several weeks due to a malfunctioning air conditioning system that has caused temperatures inside the building to reach over 100 degrees.

The housing facility is located in the former Cherokee Hotel, which was constructed in 1929.

According to several residents interviewed by the Cleveland Daily Banner on Thursday, the outage has affected the second, third, fourth and fifth floors of the seven-story structure during the past several weeks.

The area has been experiencing temperatures in the upper 90s for several days.

“We can’t sleep at night,” said one man who was standing outside the building Thursday afternoon. 

The man, who was covered in perspiration, said the lobby of the building is the only other refuge from the stifling heat.

He said he doesn’t understand why it is taking so long to repair the air conditioning system, despite memos posted on resident doorways explaining the repair delay.

Another resident, who said she has health problems, said the heat inside the building is affecting her health.

“I can’t breathe in there,” she said as she cradled a bottle of water.

Andrea Langley, chief operating officer at Emerald Housing Management in Knoxville, the owner of Cleveland Summit, told the Cleveland Daily Banner that a local air conditioning repair company is working to repair the system, with expectations it would be fully functioning by Thursday night.

Langley said a part that was ordered to repair the system was delayed when the manufacturer failed to ship the item prior to July 4.

“The plant didn’t ship it, and then they closed down for the July 4th holiday,” Langley said, adding that she sympathized with the residents' plight.

She said the local heat and air conditioning company has also rebuilt a cooling tower pump.

The facility houses 70 to 80 residents, according to Langley. She was unsure how many weeks the cooling system has been out of service.

To help residents cope with the heat, Langley said they have been supplied with bottled water, as well as electric fans.

As of Thursday, no residents have become sickened due to the high room temperatures, according to Langley.

On Tuesday, facility management held a resident meeting to keep them informed about the progress of the repairs being made to the cooling system.

Langley said the facility manager has been working long hours to try to get the system repaired.

On a positive note, Langley said her company expects to break ground soon on a new 78-unit facility to be located off South Lee Highway across from Bradley Central High School. The complex will be named Cleveland Court.

"We anticipate the new building will be ready next year," Langley said. "The residents are really excited about it."

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