Parents express concerns over heating issues at East Washington Academy

East Washington Academy in Muncie closed Friday for the second day in a row over cold temperatures and heating issues. (WISH photo)
East Washington Academy in Muncie closed Friday for the second day in a row over cold temperatures and heating issues. (WISH photo)

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — Some parents are feeling worried about heating issues at East Washington Academy in Muncie after administrators cancelled school again for the second day.

Administrators cancelled school for the second time this week over cold temperatures.

Colleen Steffen told 24-Hour News 8 she first heard about the problem Thursday morning when school was cancelled and was surprised to learn that the heating units were down. She’s also part of the PTO.

“The first that many parents heard of it was yesterday when school was cancelled,” said Steffen. “This is a man-made problem, this is a heater that hasn’t been maintained over the years and has fallen apart in the worst of the Indiana winter.”

Steffen thought everything was fine because they just had their Christmas program the night before.

“I just never think that’s a good idea I think when there’s a problem you should get out in front of it and let parents know,” she said.

East Washington Academy closed Friday for the second day in a row over cold temperatures and heating issues.

School officials said three of the nine heating units were down. Teachers and staff had to put space heaters in classrooms and asked students to bundle up.

“I just never think that’s a good idea I think when there’s a problem you should get out in front of it and let parents know,” she said.

Steffen said she woke up Thursday morning feeling surprised and upset over the announcement.

“We don’t know when it’s going to be reinstated so I think there was a lot of surprised and anger on the part of the parents,” she said.

Steffen said her eight-year-old daughter goes to the school.

“In my classroom it was really warm,” she said. “When I went to lunch I felt a little bit colder than my classroom.”

School officials said they had to use fans to move warm air through the building and made sure each classroom was above the required temperature of 68 degrees.

“I saw like heater guys that were like helping to fix it all around the school like throughout last week and this week when I had school,” said Tommy Sparrow, a third grader at the school.

While Sparrow has enjoyed two days off from school, her mom is hoping for a resolution.

“The teachers have come up with a very detailed plan monitoring which classrooms still have proper heat so they’re testing the temperatures in all the rooms. They know certain parts of the building are still acceptable for kids to learn in and they’re still safe,” she said. They have come up with a really detailed plan room by room where to switch classes around so that everyone is accommodated, fire codes are still met safety codes are still met.

Administrators said they have already reviewed the teacher’s plan and will use it next week only under the condition that the required temperature is met.

Board members were scheduled to meet Monday night to go over their options to fix the problem. The meeting was cancelled. No word on when it will be rescheduled.