No school again for Hickman-Mills school due to water main break - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

No school again for Hickman-Mills school due to water main break


Classes have been canceled for a second day in a row at a Hickman-Mills elementary school, and some parents are outraged that classes weren't dismissed early on Wednesday due to a water main break.

The water main break occurred Wednesday morning near Ingels Elementary School, which is near Longview Road.

Classes continued as normal Wednesday. Outdoor toilets were brought to the school for students and staff to use. Because running water wasn't available, hand sanitizer was provided for cleaning hands.

Bottled water was provided to students and food was prepared with boiled water, parents said. Some parents said on KCTV5's Facebook page that they were outraged that classes weren't dismissed and that students were forced to go outside in frigid conditions to use the restroom.

The school district canceled classes on Thursday and Friday because the repairs are taking longer than expected, said Steve Meyers, the executive director of operations for the Hickman Mills School District. He declined comment on the specific complaints from parents, but said students weren't sent home early on Wednesday because the repairs were expected to be completed the same day.

"I wish they had told us how long it was going to take. We thought it was only going to be a couple of hours before the main was fixed and water restored."

District officials said challenges have arisen during the repairs.

"The obstacles included harsh exterior temperatures, supply shortages, delay of a city inspection and complications while attempting to reroute the water main line into the building," according to a statement from the district.

Superintendent Dennis Carpenter said repairs and the necessary inspections are expected to be completed in time for classes to resume on Monday morning.

"As a school district, we regret having to close school due to unprecedented weather conditions and an aging facility," he said in the statement.

In his statement, Carpenter did not address concerns from parents including some who said they were unhappy to learn from their children or the news media rather than the district about their children using outdoor toilets in frigid conditions and being unable to wash their hands. Several parents said the district should have been more forthcoming and acted sooner.

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