Classes will resume as normal Tuesday

by: RAY PITZ - Sherwood High School Principal Ken Bell stands in front of damaged books in a teacher work space Monday afternoon. The school was closed Monday due to water damage caused by broken pipes along with a lack of heat in some classrooms.Renovation and restoration crews had fans out full bore on Monday afternoon, trying to dry out offices and classrooms damaged by broken pipes and ensuring the heat was fixed in some frigid classrooms.

Classes at the 1,520-student school were canceled Monday due to the broken pipes as crews mopped up the damage. The school will reopen Tuesday morning.

A heating system pipe broke in the school’s east wing and while it caused only minor water damage, the real problem was that the system heats 11 classrooms, making those rooms too cold to inhabit, according to Principal Ken Bell. He said temperatures in some of those rooms dipped into the 30s overnight.

However, the bigger problem occurred when a pipe broke in the ceiling of teachers’ offices in the west wing, sending water at least six inches deep onto the floor. That water in turn seeped into a nearby hallway, said Bell.

“We didn’t lose any technology,” said Bell, added that some books and teachers’ planning materials were damaged. Most teachers have laptop computers, which they take with them, Bell pointed out. Despite no students, all staff worked Monday.

The principal said Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responded to the broken pipes on Sunday afternoon, and contained what could have been more expansive damage.

“They were great,” he said of fire crews from Sherwood Station No. 33. “They got rid of all the water.”

Strangely, several upper lockers across from the teachers’ offices suffered some water damage, apparently from ceiling pipes leaking into them. Even more strange (as Bell demonstrated) a textbook in one locker was soaking wet while three adjacent books in the same locker remained dry.

“Our biggest issue now is we got a lot of moisture in the walls,” Bell said over the roar of drying fans. School officials want to make sure they don’t end up with mold as a result.

By early afternoon, the west wing pipes had been fixed while work crews were finishing work on the east wing.

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