Pawhuska Public Schools officials voiced delight last week about the exemplary attitude and work ethic of a group of kids from Illinois and Iowa who spent four days laboring on a variety of projects to help the school district.


The team of kids came to Pawhuska through YouthWorks, a Minnesota-based Christian organization that provides faith-centered mission trips for teens.


Dean Hix, director of Transportation and Maintenance for Pawhuska Schools, said the group last week had to take cold showers because of a leaky water line to a storage supply tank. In spite of that discomfort, the youth helped unload a 20-ton load of copy paper (the school district’s tractor was out of service), dug out and repaired a non-functioning drainage pipe at Indian Camp Elementary School, and took up half the Pawhuska High School gymnasium floor in two days.


When the Pawhuska Board of Education met Thursday evening, Hix introduced the group and bragged on their performance.


“This is a group that has pushed us to the limit,” Hix told the board. “This group is awesome. You can’t ask for any better free help than this.”


Pawhuska Superintendent David Cash thanked the group.


“I can tell you we really appreciate everything you do,” he said.


Hix said the school system anticipates receiving help from YouthWorks team members each week this summer through the first week of August. Each group will work four days and go home on Friday, he said.


Hix explained that when the kids dug up the Indian Camp Elementary drainage line early last week, it turned out the pipe had been improperly installed in the first place. Several lengths of PVC piping, of which the drainage line was supposed to be composed, had never been glued together, Hix said.


“No wonder it would flood. It had nowhere to go,” Hix said. After the YouthWorks team corrected the problem, the drainage line promptly drained a three-inch rain, he said.


Cash said the PHS gym floor had been plagued by moisture issues for years and was rotted in a couple of spots. It is being replaced.