‘Extremely frustrating’ Clark-Shawnee water issue closes middle, high school

Clark -Shawnee Middle and High School closed Friday after another water issued called “extremely frustrating” by Superintendent Brian Kuhn.

The school closed due to “the inability to maintain water pressure in the building,” according to an update from the superintendent in a letter to parents.

There was no water in the building Friday morning into at least the afternoon as the water depressurized around 6:30 a.m., according to Kuhn.

Repair crews and district maintenance employees were unable to restore the water Friday morning, but were on-site throughout the day to fix the system. As of Friday afternoon, there was no update.

“We fought the good fight, but repair crews have determined that water cannot be restored in a timely manner this morning,” Kuhn said.

The school also was closed Thursday after there was a break in the water service line when a pressure switch failed in the new system that was just brought fully online Tuesday.

When water pressure builds up in the system, it reaches a point where the switch is supposed to tell the water pump to stop pumping. Instead, it kept pumping and put too much pressure in the system, which caused the break in the line to happen.

Kuhn said that issue was repaired and the water system worked all Thursday night and had pressure Friday morning when the head custodian did morning checks.

“Quite frankly, the timing of this issue is extremely frustrating as buses, student drivers and parent drop-offs were already on their way to the school when the system lost pressure,” he said Friday morning to parents.

On Friday morning, students who rode buses were offloaded at the school, walked to the elementary and waited there to determine if the water service could be restored. Student drivers and students who get dropped off were sent home to report back similar to a two-hour delay schedule. However, those students could not return to the building as the water system was not fixed in time.

“I know this morning was unexpected for both students and families,” Kuhn said. “Our planned timeline to bring this new system online was unexpectedly advanced when we experienced a plumbing issue over Christmas Break.”

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