Pipe break cancels school in Batavia

Batavia Local School District administrators were forced to cancel school at Batavia Elementary Feb. 7 and 8 due to a problem with the boiler.

“A pipe coming off the steam boiler broke,” Superintendent Jill Grubb said. “The pipe broke in the crawl space but the steam traveled up under the roof and the ceiling tiles were collecting moisture.”

Grubb said the incident happened sometime Sunday night, and while at first the problem only affected several classrooms, once water collected in the ceiling tiles throughout the building extensive maintenance and cleaning had to be done.

“The tiles had to be removed to allow everything to dry,” Grubb said.

She said an outside agency fixed the broken pipe and custodians and maintenance workers removed and cleaned the ceiling tiles. She also said the district had an air quality test completed so they could make sure the building was safe for the students to return.

Grubb said students returned to school Feb. 9, but some classes were moved to other rooms in the building to accommodate the ongoing maintenance. She said that by Feb. 13 everything was back to normal.

At the Feb. 13 board meeting, Grubb and other board members thanked staff members and teachers for all the work they did cleaning things up so children could get back in the building.

“I know it was stressful there for a couple days,” Michael Enriquez, board president, said.

The board also discussed the age of the building and the consequences of unexpected repairs.

“The pipe broke just due to normal wear and tear,” Grubb said. “They are somewhere between 20 and 30 years old. You look at the age of the buildings, it is hard to predict when the next pipe is going to break.”

The district will be holding a community meeting to discuss some of these problems, as well as others at 7 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 21 in the gym at Batavia Elementary School.