Meadville Tribune

January 8, 2014

Sprinkler pipe break leads to evacuation at East End Elementary School

Building will be closed until Monday once water damage is assessed

By Dan Walk
Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — A 1 1/2-inch sprinkler pipe ruptured on the second floor of the two-story East End School on Walnut Street Wednesday afternoon, spilling a significant amount of water and leading to the evacuation of the building’s occupants.

No injuries were reported, though a “considerable amount” of water poured from the pipe, according to Capt. Evan Hasko of Meadville Central Fire Department. Occupants of the building were evacuated around 2 p.m., according to Crawford Central School District Superintendent Charlie Heller, who said it took about 10 minutes to shut the water off.

The building, which is owned by the school district, is occupied by district administration offices and tenants including Twin Creeks Head Start program, Creating Landscapes Learning Center private elementary school, Crawford County READ adult literacy program and Meadville Family YMCA.

Heller suspects the pipe froze before rupturing at a second floor hallway and that “there was a significant amount of water that came out of the east end of the East End Elementary School.”

“We haven’t been able to itemize (the damage) because it happened at the end of the day,” said Heller, who said the damage wasn’t so much structural but that some paperwork and technology were damaged. “The priority was turning the water off, getting people out of there, and then cleaning up the mess.”

The district’s insurance company will pay for the damage once it is assessed, Heller said, adding that the building is fully covered.

All the water, which never made it outside of the building, Hasko said, has since been cleaned up. Heller said the pipe will be fixed first thing this morning, but the building will be closed the rest of the week.

“It should be business as usual on Monday,” Heller said. “I think we’ll be more than ready by Monday.”