CRAIG CO., Va. -

In the high school hallways and classroom windows, fans were running at full speed Thursday.

John Crenshaw's U.S. history class made the best of the situation, but by midday the heat and humidity were already winning the battle.

"In these rooms where we don't have air conditioning, the heat just builds up and it doesn't go away," Crenshaw told WDBJ7. "We'll come in tomorrow morning, it'll still be warm."

Sophomore Rebecca Scott agreed. "Because there's a lot of people in one classroom and it builds up so much heat," Scott said, "it's not comfortable at all sitting in that classroom how hot it is.  And even one fan or two can't cool us down like that."

Students were dismissed early Thursday afternoon for the second day in a row.

The middle school wing and a new entrance were built a dozen years ago, but school leaders say the high school hasn't seen major renovations in 25 years, and the elementary school in 40 years.  High school classrooms and the elementary school library have no air-conditioning.

Superintendent Kelly Wilmore says improvements are badly needed, and he's hopeful they are now on the way.

"We can't keep putting band-aids on our schools," Wilmore said in an interview. "Everything in this proposal is well-needed: a new roof, the list goes on and on."

The school system has secured a $5 million, no-interest federal loan for the work. Now it's up to the school board and the county board of supervisors to work out the financing.

School leaders are hopeful problems like the heat-related issues they've seen this week will soon be a thing of the past.