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 Broken Boiler Coats Students with Cold

February 13, 2008 - While their classrooms were not quite as cold as the below freezing temperature outside, a malfunctioning boiler at Knightstown Elementary kept most students clad in coats during school Monday.

According to Ray Pavy, interim superintendent of the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation, a part responsible for starting the school's boiler went out, leaving much of the building without heat for "significant parts of the day." He said the boiler's age has made it nearly obsolete when it comes to finding parts for needed repairs.

"This is a 21-year-old part," Pavy said. "We had to get a whole new electronic system that fit in there to make it work." He said the part purchased in Indianapolis on Monday cost about $3,500, but that total repair costs still weren't known.

Pavy told The Banner yesterday morning that CAB workers had encountered a "couple of problems" while making their repairs Monday evening. "There are still some issues that are being dealt with," he said, noting that an additional heating system repair is needed in one classroom.

When The Banner checked back with Pavy Tuesday afternoon, he said the boiler was working properly and the temperature in the school was back where it should be. However, he said three classes were being held in different rooms due to messes from burst water pipes in their regular classrooms.

Pavy said two of the classes were expected to be back in their normal rooms by today. The third classroom, the one that needs a heating system repair, will not be used until the part need to restore heat to it is replaced.

Knightstown resident Shannan Chandler, who has two children who attend KES - a fourth grader and a kindergartner - said she was unhappy that she and other parents weren't notified by CAB about the problem with the school's heating system.

"As a parent, I am upset that my child spent the entire day in a classroom without heat and I was not notified," Chandler said. Citing a concern over the prevalence of influenza cases in the county, Chandler added, "A lack of heat in the building is not going to increase the overall health of the students in the school."

"I am concerned about a lack of communication from school administrators," Chandler continued. While the heating issue appears to be resolved, she said she believes CAB should notify parents when students are, for whatever reason, not allowed to use their normal classrooms.

Wayne Township resident Mark Fort, who also has a child in kindergarten at KES, said he also thought parents should have been notified of the school's heating problem. "Things happen," said Fort. "You can't do anything about that. But you'd think they would want parents to know there was a problem so they could make sure their kids dress warmly."

Asked yesterday about the lack of notification to parents, Pavy told The Banner he had not known whether parents had not been notified or not. "We're more interested in getting it fixed," he said.



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