County Schools Report Varying Degrees Of Storm Damage


Broken water lines flooded the Cantrell Fieldhouse at Bethel Public Schools causing major damage to the basketball court. Photo provided

The mid-February week-long deep freeze resulted in a lot of burst water pipes, not only for homeowners but also for businesses and schools.

An email survey of Pottawatomie County schools yielded these results:

Bethel - "We had a few busted water lines in the district," said Superintendent Tod Harrison. "Our biggest issue is our gym floor. You can see from the photos it is severely damaged from one of the leaks. We are awaiting the arrival of our insurance adjuster to assess the exact amount of damage. When that assessment is done we will move forward with repairs. "

Tecumseh - "We experienced two leaks in our buildings during these record breaking cold temperatures," said Superintendent Tom Wilsie. "The first was in the middle school where we had a water supply line in a custodial closet freeze and break, sending water into the hallway and some of our classrooms. 

"We are fortunate that Mrs. Flowers had been in the building earlier in the day and knew that we did not have any leaks. She returned later in the afternoon to find the leak. The water had reached the hallway and into some of the classrooms. Our custodial and maintenance staff responded and vacuumed and swept the water up to avoid any significant damage. We were fortunate that the affected area was constructed of concrete block walls with only tile floors.

"Our second area was in the music room at Cross Timbers Elementary. Mrs. Burks and our custodians had been in the building the afternoon before to know that we did not have any leaks at that time. They returned around 7 am the next morning to discover the leak. Again, our maintenance and custodial crews arrived to vacuum and sweep up the water to avoid significant damage. This frozen pipe was due to a water hydrant in the outside wall that apparently was not adequately insulated. This area was also concrete block walls with tile or concrete floors thus avoiding any significant damage."

Shawnee - "We had pipe bursts at Sequoyah Elementary that damaged two classrooms and flooded the basement," said school district spokeswoman Cherity Pennington. "We also had a pipe burst at SHS in the faculty workroom on the north side of the building next to the cafeteria. There were more pipe bursts at the tennis facility, the softball facility, the concession restrooms at Jim Thorpe Stadium, underneath Jim Thorpe Stadium, and at Crossroads Daycare located in the old middle school building."

NORTH ROCK CREEK - "NRC had a frozen pipe that busted and leaked onto our gym floor on Feb. 20," said Superintendent Blake Moody. "Insurance has deemed the floor to be in need of a total replacement. That work will begin in the next couple of weeks."

Asher - "We had the sprinkler system freeze and bust in the old lobby of the gym," said Superintendent Terry Grissom. "Fortunately we were in the gym at the time and were able to shut off the water before we had any major damage done. We were lucky!"

Macomb - "We were very lucky at Macomb," said Superintendent Matt Riggs. "We didn't have any damage."

There were reports of severe damage at Dale. Board member Ronnie Newton said there was damage to the high school and to the new gym. No further information from the school was received by press time.


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