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Back to class at high school

Thanks to a massive cleanup, the burst water pipe in a high school math classroom wall that spewed water across floors and into halls and other rooms didn't stop classes from resuming Monday.

"The students wouldn't know anything happened," Superintendent Tom Westerhaus said, adding: "We don't have cost estimates yet, as bills have not all been received. The investigation on the cause of the breakage is still ongoing. We continue to investigate and try to find answers."

Fortunately, last month's leak occurred at the start of winter break. Classes were off for two weeks, giving sufficient time to dry the building, do minor repairs and monitor air quality.

Because the school had lots of pipe leaks when it opened in fall 2001, the issue of whether the latest one can be traced to the builder, Westra Construction, remains to be seen.

With the school's investigation still ongoing, Westerhaus said, "I wouldn't be able to trace blame on shortcomings (to) the original builder."

The superintendent said the high school got a thorough going over.

"Pipes throughout the building were checked and insulated in crawl spaces if we felt there was potential concern.

"I hope we never have to deal with the problem again, but if we do, I could not ask for better custodial, teaching and administrative staff to assist in the process."