Eight classrooms in the south wing of Irene King Elementary School suffered water damage Thursday when a pipe in the corner of one of the classrooms burst overnight.
The damage was discovered by a guest teacher as she arrived to start the day around 7 a.m. Valley View School District 365U maintenance staff members had the leak stopped before students reported to school, but not before the water had damaged carpets, cabinets, books, and papers in eight kindergarten and first grade classrooms.
“It must have happened overnight. It was running for hours,” said VVSD Leadman for Grounds Mike Singleton, adding this week’s dangerous temperatures followed by a slight thaw are undoubtedly the culprits.
The damage forced King officials to temporarily relocate kindergarten and first grade classes to the library, art room, computer lab, gym and an unused 5th grade room.
“We are doing everything we can to get them back into their classrooms by Monday,” said Singleton.
Singleton and 15-members of his team had the leak repaired and most of the larger areas of all the rooms dried out by mid morning. But now the big task, with assistance from ServPro, is checking for possible water behind dry walls ensuring all moisture is removed.
"We’ll be working all weekend,” Singleton said.
With an eye on student safety, which remains the top priority, building administration and district curriculum teams are working together to support teachers and building staff to ensure instruction is not interrupted and individual student needs are met.
“Everything is going smoothly. The kids are adjusting quite well,” said Principal April Vacik. “They like being in a different classroom. It’s a fun learning experience for them”
Vacik praised VVSD maintenance personnel for their prompt response to the leak. She is hopeful several of the affected classrooms will be available for students Friday.