Cold-related closures bring ironic twists in Naperville

Classes have been canceled because of extreme cold just four months after one school district canceled them for extreme heat. Frigid temperatures caused one library to close early on the first day it was set to begin extended hours. And it’s so cold, even ice skating or sledding is a bad idea.

In the Naperville area, closures in Indian Prairie Unit District 204, Naperville Public Library and Naperville Park District caused by Monday’s subzero temperatures carried a certain level of irony.

For some students in District 204, which serves students in parts of Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook and Plainfield, Monday was the third day this school year that classes were canceled because of the weather.

Back in September, the district called off classes two days in a row at about 20 schools that do not have air conditioning. Now students at those buildings, as well as the rest of the facilities in the district, were told not to attend classes Monday — and Tuesday — because of the extreme cold.

Spokeswoman Janet Buglio said the district will use emergency days at the end of its school calendar beginning June 4 to make up the time missed for the cold-related closures. But the two days of class some students missed just four months ago because of uncomfortably warm temperatures will not be made up because the heat-related closures did not affect the entire district.

At the Nichols Library in downtown Naperville, this weekend was supposed to be the first day Sunday hours would be extended from 1 to 9 p.m. instead of 1 to 5 p.m. Officials had determined patrons wanted longer Sunday hours during the school year for studying and reading, and they shuffled expenses and personnel around to make the four extra hours possible.

But Sunday afternoon, the library announced it would be closing its doors at the usual time of 5 p.m., pushing the extended hours off another week. All three library locations also planned to close at 5 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, too.

Meanwhile, Naperville Park District canceled all programs Monday and Tuesday and encouraged residents not to use ice rinks or sledding hills until after a wind chill warning has been lifted. Brad Wilson, director of recreation, said the only people seen using the Riverwalk from the park district’s administration office were park district staff members clearing snow, so most residents seemed to be heeding warnings to stay indoors.

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