Water woes close Union-North United Schools for 6 days


A faulty water pump will have kept LaVille Elementary and LaVille Jr-Sr High closed for six days in the last two weeks.

Students and teachers were first left without water and working toilets on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

School officials installed a new pump in the well, then tested the water for chlorination levels before opening their doors again this past Monday.

The new pump busted on Tuesday, and the schools have been closed since then.

They will remain closed for the rest of the week, and parents, grandparents and babysitters will have to keep kids occupied somehow.

7-year-old Tyler Eickhoff has been spending his days off at the library. His grandma, Dee Dilley, wants to make sure he's still getting some learning.

"So today, it's books and videos; last week, it's books and videos," Dilley said. "So, we returned them and got some more!"

Tyler said he likes hanging out at home with Grandma, but he's starting to miss his friends and his teacher.

"I really like to read in school," Tyler said, holding a Spiderman book.

Union-North United Superintendent Mitch Mawhorter said replacing the water pump is not a short process.

"We had to go through the same process again: Replace the pump, chlorinate, sanitize everything, go through the water tests again," he said.

But students and parents should not be worried about the buildings' infrastructures, he added. In fact, the corporation has been working to renovate both schools.

"We are looking at possibly drilling an actual other well just for this, just so we don't have this problem again," Mawhorter said.

He said he hopes to have everything back to normal by Monday.

Until then, Tyler and Grandma Dee will keep themselves busy.

"Books, stories, movies, and we're gonna pick up a few things and put them out in the shed," Dilley said.

Mawhorter said he sent a letter to the Indiana Department of Education on Thursday, requesting a waiver for the days missed. If it is not approved, students will have to make them up throughout the school year.

If there are no snow days, students could be caught up by April. Otherwise, the make-up days will be tacked onto the end of the school year in late May.