Washington Elementary closed Tuesday due to heat issue

By Gary Scott on October 17, 2018 at 12:51pm

An issue with the heating system caused one local elementary school to close its doors yesterday.

According to Jacksonville School District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek, a component in the heating system at Washington Elementary School was found to not be working properly earlier this week, and the district was forced to close the school Tuesday. With temperatures hovering to the point of freezing overnight between Monday and Tuesday, the district couldn’t risk having their students attend school in a building without properly functioning heat. Fortunately however, the issue has since been resolved.

Ptacek explains precisely what the issue was that caused Washington to shut its doors.

“We noticed Monday that there was just an actuater on one of the valves. It basically is one part, not a major part of the entire system other than the fact that if it’s not working it shuts down the entire system, that was not working. We got in a piece Monday night based upon the part order, then we realized that they had replaced the entire valve. And they’re putting that in as we speak, so as of 10 o’clock this morning it should be in,” says Ptacek.

Ptacek says that the district wanted to avoid losing two full days of school. He explains that the lost day does not need to be made up.

“I verified with the Regional Office of Education that since this is an emergency closure of one building, in a district with multiple buildings, it will not impact our school calendar. In other words, the day does not have to be made up,” says Ptacek.

Ptacek also wanted to reassure folks that this was just one valve of the heating system and not a major component of the heating system. All is back to normal as students at Washington returned to school today. Washington was the only school in District 117 impacted by this event.