Heat system issue prompts closure of Eastern Hancock schools

GREENFIELD — Eastern Hancock students were out of school Monday because administrators declared it was too cold inside the building for them to attend.

School officials discovered an issue with the high school and middle school’s heating system Sunday. The buildings are adjoined.

School officials were still uncertain Monday afternoon if school would be in session today.

Though it was President’s Day, students were scheduled to be in class Monday to make up for a previous snow day.

Greenfield-Central and Southern Hancock Schools were closed Monday in observance of the holiday while Mt. Vernon schools were in session.

Superintendent Randy Harris said he learned Sunday afternoon there was an issue with the heating system at the high school and middle school, and the part needed to fix it wasn’t readily available.

He notified parents around 8 p.m. Sunday night that classes would not be conducted Monday.

“This is not a part you can just find on the shelf,” he said Monday afternoon. “We knew we weren’t going to be up and running, so we canceled.”

School officials were able to find a replacement part for the system in Evansville, and it arrived late Monday afternoon. Maintenance crews were working to fix the issue so school could be in session today.

Temperatures inside the building had fallen to 50 degrees by Monday afternoon, Harris said. School officials worried that with students coming in and out, those temperatures could plummet further.

Heat at the elementary building, which is not on the same campus, was working fine, but conducting school for those students when the high school and middle school were closed would have created confusion among parents, Harris said.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.