PARIS, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) – Paris High School is cleaning up after experiencing major flooding inside the building on Christmas.
Officials believe that extreme cold temperatures caused a fire suppression line to break which caused heavy damage to the floors throughout the building.
First responders were on scene within 30 minutes of the break and were able to get it under control. Fire suppression lines usually have a lot a pressure. Paris 95 Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Larson said the broken line had 139 psi of pressure.
“When the top pipes came apart from one another, instantly water just started gushing,” Larson explained.
Larson confirmed that the gym floor will need to be replaced despite various drying techniques and other mitigation efforts. The library and cafeteria were also impacted by the flooding. He said that no cost estimates are finalized at this point.
The completion of the repairs could take some time. Larson suggested that completion may not be until next summer.
The return date to school will not change. The first day of class is scheduled for January 4, and Larson stated that it is safe for students to return.
He mentioned that some programing will look different for students.
“We will be operational for students to attend,” Larson stated. “There will be a difference in P.E. classes, athletic programing and different functions within the school.”
Also in a press release, it was stated that events such as graduation and May Fete will continue on the originally planned dates, and the administration is working to find alternative venues to host them.
One of the bigger adjustments will be for athletic events as the basketball season is in full swing.
Athletic Director Creighton Tarr said that Ernie Eveland Gym down the road is an option for a venue.
“Everyone’s making the best of a bad situation, that’s really the key part,” Tarr said.