High School Is Unable to Shut Its Lights Off

They've been on for more than a year at Minnechaug school in Massachusetts
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2023 11:23 AM CST
High School Is Unable to Shut Its Lights Off
Stock photo.   (Getty/surpasspro)

NBC News reports on an unusual problem at a high school in Massachusetts: Nobody can turn the lights off. As a result, every light at Minnechaug Regional High School has been burning around the clock since August 2021. The problem is a software failure. The school had a 7,000-light system installed more than a decade ago, but the entire system went kerflooey during a 2021 power outage, according to the Smoke Signal, the online school paper that first reported on the story. The lights are supposed to dim during the day and turn off overnight, but the server failure reset everything to default mode—meaning all the lights burn brightly 24/7, and they can't be manually adjusted.

"We are very much aware this is costing taxpayers a significant amount of money," says Aaron Osborne of the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District, per NBC. "I would say the net impact is in the thousands of dollars per month on average, but not in the tens of thousands." A slew of factors explain the delay in fixing things: For example, the company that installed the system changed hands a few times, and supply chain issues have slowed replacement parts. However, the lighting company that now owns the original installer says everything needed has finally arrived, and it plans to make the fix next month. This time, the system will have an override switch to prevent this from happening again. (More strange stuff stories.)

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