Broken pipe forces Ardmore school shutdown - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Broken pipe forces Ardmore school shutdown

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Ardmore Middle School is drying out after a burst pipe flooded the campus. (KTEN) Ardmore Middle School is drying out after a burst pipe flooded the campus. (KTEN)
Workers were busy removing warped hardwood from the Ardmore Middle School gymnasium. (KTEN) Workers were busy removing warped hardwood from the Ardmore Middle School gymnasium. (KTEN)
The gymnasium floor at Ardmore Middle School was damaged by a burst water pipe. (KTEN) The gymnasium floor at Ardmore Middle School was damaged by a burst water pipe. (KTEN)

ARDMORE, Okla. -- Ardmore Middle School will be closed all week after a broken water line flooded the campus.

Administrators said as much as 70,000 gallons of water was unleashed after a six-inch pipe connected to the school's sprinkler system burst on Friday morning.

Teachers called maintenance crews right away, but the water surged unchecked for 18 minutes before the source could be identified.

"We turned the water main off; that does not kill the water," Ardmore City Schools operations director Chris Kennedy said. "So we go back out, turn the fire line off, and of course that kills the water."

It was too late for the school's gymnasium, where the wooden floor is now severely warped.  Workers were busy sawing up the hardwood so it can be replaced.

Superintendent Kim Holland said the price tag for repairs could be several million dollars.

"That gym floor is not cheap, and some of the other things that we will have to repair," he said. "And then the equipment to pump all that moisture out of the building is running into the thousands of dollars."

The entire east wing of the school is being dried out by nearly 300 fans, and it's off-limits until further notice.

But Kennedy said at least some of the flooring, books, and all of the technology was saved.

"We had a PLC [professional learning community] day that day; our teachers were here, good thing our kids weren't," he said. "Good thing somebody was here; our teachers are what saved their building."

"Some of our books are probably too damaged to repair," Holland added. "A lot of the books, they think they're going to be able to draw the moisture out of them, so that's where we are on that."

School employees hope to determine when the building can reopen by Friday. Determining the air quality will be a part of that equation.

Students will not have to make this time up at the end of the school year, officials said.

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