Students at Gregory-Portland Junior High School had quite a surprise when they got back to school this week. The campus has been without heat for the past couple of days.
Administrators said Wednesday they discovered a pipe had burst six feet underground. The district has not canceled classes but instead encouraged students and staff to bundle up.
"The building would not come up to temperature," GPISD Superintendent Dr. Paul Clore said.
A notification was sent out to parents Wednesday saying the school was having heating issues.
"We had to advise students and parents and staff members to wear layered clothing for the day," Clore said.
At first, administrators were informed that two pipes that distributed hot water from the boiler system to the campus had burst six feet underground.
"It took about 8-10 hours just to excavate the area and locate the specific run of pipe that needed to be replaced," Clore said.
Until the pipes are fixed, a few electric heaters were placed throughout the campus, but for safety reasons, they were kept to a minimum.
"Since the building is more than 50 years old when it was originally designed, it was not designed for an electric heat support system," Clore said.
Luckily, the plumbing for the bathrooms and for food service was unaffected and the sun made an appearance the past couple of days.
"Had it been unbearably cold, had those things not been working, we would have had to shut the school down completely," Clore said.
The superintendent hopes to have the heat back on by mid-morning to noon Friday.
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