Father, son share love of mechanics, keep Oklahoma City schools cool

The Oklahoma City Public Schools HVAC team worked for 26 days in a row to get schools ready for the start of school. Two of those team members are a father-son duo, Stephen and Thomas Lacey.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Published: September 7, 2012

When Thomas Lacey was growing up, his dad coached him in more than sports. His dad taught him how to fix things, too.

Now Lacey and his father, Stephen, fix machines together all the time as technicians on the heating and air conditioning team for Oklahoma City Public Schools.

“It was something I've done my entire life,” Thomas Lacey said. “It was like it was second nature.”

The Laceys and the rest of the heat and air team worked for 26 days straight readying dozens of schools and hundreds of classrooms for the return of students.

The Oklahoma City School Board recently honored the team for their efforts.

“We've got to get it fixed,” said father Stephen Lacey, 59. “It just snowballed. I've just got some guys who are tireless. They know it's got to be fixed.”

He said he's glad to see his son have the same drive to make sure the students, teachers and staff are comfortable.

“As far as fixing stuff, it's great to see it work,” said Stephen Lacey, who has worked for the district for about 20 years. “I guess he must feel the same way.”

Thomas Lacey said he loves solving problems.

“I like to tear things apart and put them back together,” he said. “I like to see the mechanics of things and how they turn and how they work. It's the challenge.”

Thomas, 33, said he's grateful he can spend so much time with his dad. Most of the time.

“He's not a guy who just sits in the shop,” he said.

Thomas also praised his co-workers:

“I've known a lot of these guys since I was a kid. They're the same guys. It's just like a big family. We all love one another.”


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