Sewer causes problems for students

Jacob Clanton, Print Editor-in-Chief

As Manhattan High students came back to school, they were greeted by construction in the north part of the main parking lot. This construction was due to a sewage problem.

“There was a problem with the main sewer line that leaves our building and ties into the city sewer,” MHS principal Greg Hoyt said. “They had to go down and do extensive repair work.”

According to the additional meeting information on the USD 383 website from the Aug. 16 Board of Education meeting, the issue was settling of ground around a connection of the sanitary sewer and a manhole.

However, when working on the problem, the contractors encountered additional problems, delaying completion of the project.

“After breaking ground and digging several feet down, the trench walls began to collapse causing unsafe conditions,” the additional meeting information said. “The collapsing trench walls required additional digging and equipment as well as added material to fill the hole in correctly.”

Another issue was the availability of the contractors.

“Those jobs are always bid out by maintenance,” Hoyt said, “and whoever wins the bid, it’s kind of whenever they can come out and do it. They just couldn’t come out until like the week before school started.”

Part of the reason students were upset by the removal of the parking spots was the inability to find a spot, stemming from the sheer number of students parking.

“Last year was a huge issue with parking,” Hoyt said, “particularly in the second semester with available spaces, so we made a commitment to go ahead and open the cemetary road. [A] long time ago, [that] was open for student parking and had been closed. We decided to open that up to make sure that we had enough space for parking.”

As a result of opening this additional parking, administration decided to allow sophomores to park anywhere in the student lots.

“We know that sophomores can’t go out to lunch,” Hoyt said, “that’s kind of why we had the back lot for sophomores. Now, since there’s two ways out of that, we can’t devote manpower to just monitor that. It was really easy to monitor with just one way out of that parking lot, but not with two, and that’s when we kind of opened up the parking.”