It was 106 degrees Aug. 18 when parents at eight Fort Worth ISD schools had to come pick up their students because cut utility lines knocked out air conditioning.

Fort Worth ISD Deputy Superintendent Kellie Spencer said a cut fiber line near 999 University Drive impacted a district service center server. The affected server was unable to interact with HVAC systems on campuses, which became so hot the district called parents to come pick up their children.

The following campuses were affected to the point of needing pickups:

The Fort Worth Report spoke to parents picking up their students at Springdale Elementary, who all confirmed the district sent out an automated message that the HVAC systems were not working and they could come pick up their children.

The district is receiving conflicting reports about what exactly happened, Spencer said. What she does know is that, in logs kept overnight and the morning of Aug. 18, workers hit a water line while repairing a fiber line. 

Fort Worth’s Transportation and Public Works department was notified by Conterra Networks utility company that a fiber line was knocked out while doing routine maintenance Thursday, Lara Ingram, a spokesperson for the department, confirmed. 

Conterra has a crew actively working on repairs, Ingram said. However, the city does not know when service will be restored. 

The city’s transportation and public works department sent two inspectors to the site Friday afternoon to get more information. 

About 2 p.m. the same day, Fort Worth ISD said the issue was resolved, but officials said it would take a while for buildings to cool down.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include repairs to the system.

Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at

Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at or via Twitter. 

At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

Creative Commons License

Noncommercial entities may republish our articles for free by following our guidelines. For commercial licensing, please email

Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report in collaboration with KERA. She is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri where she majored in Journalism and Political...