23 Aug 2014
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Water Pipe Bursts, Damages Classrooms, Computers at Middle School

'It has been extraordinarily cold recently. We don’t know for sure but I assume that had something to do with it.'

Water Pipe Bursts, Damages Classrooms, Computers at Middle School

A water pipe burst early Monday morning at Grover Cleveland Middle School during sub-zero temperatures, damaging classrooms and library computers.

A cold water pipe located on the third floor of the school ruptured and caused water to leak down through the second level and onto the first floor, said Superintendent James Heinegg.

In addition, the water leaked down into the school’s library located on the first floor, said Heinegg, destroying about a dozen computers and damaging some books.

Two classrooms — one on each of the third and second floors — sustained “minimal damaged,” said Heinegg. The classroom on the third floor was cleaned and reopened before noon, and Heinegg estimated the classroom on the second floor will be available “very soon.” 

The superintendent suggested the subzero temperatures in the Caldwells Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning probably caused the pipe to burst.

“It has been extraordinarily cold recently,” said Heinegg. “We don’t know for sure but I assume that had something to do with it.” 

Temperatures plummeted to the single digits last night and the wind chill made it feel below zero, according to the National Weather Service. It reached -7 degree Tuesday around 7 p.m. and -6 degrees Wednesday morning around 3 a.m., according to the NWS.

It is still too early to determine how much the damage will cost the district, said Heinegg. 

The bust water pipe also caused a delayed opening Wednesday for students.    

This is the second water pipe to burst within a month at the middle school. 

In mid-December, a water coil in a heating unit  ruptured in a third-floor classroom before school opened. Five classrooms sustained water damage.

Construction crews renovated the five classrooms during the winter recess, said Heinegg in an issued statement last week.

A new floor was installed in one of the damaged classrooms during the holiday break and the room is now ready for use. Heineeg said the renovations to the remaining four classrooms damaged in December will take about three more weeks to repair.  

The damage to the middle school comes at a time when the district is preparing to reevaluate the overall health of its facilities, said Heinegg.

“One of the district’s goals this year is to take a close look at facility needs and long-term planning,” said Heinegg, “so we will take this data into account with that.” 

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