Class canceled when school soaked

Local News

MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA) — Hundreds of kids were out of school Monday after a pipe burst. It happened at Lincoln Trail Elementary School.

A teacher came in Saturday and found water covering the floor. Crews were working on the pipe Friday.

Principal Jeff Starwalt says they used a wrong part and it didn’t hold up. At some point between then and Saturday morning, it burst.

Monday morning, the halls of Lincoln Trail were filled, not with kids, but with fans.

“They had to bring in machines to suck up the water, mop the floors, dry the wet areas.”

Kids were out because a burst pipe soaked the school.

“About half-an-inch of water through about 80% of the building.”

Starwalt says it could have been a lot worse. 4th grade teacher Bridget Graham saved the day.

“She saw water coming out of one of the ceiling tiles in one of our hallways. She was very resourceful. Her quick thinking really saved us a lot of damage and a lot of trouble. She ran and got a ladder, got up in the ceiling and shut off the water valve.”

That was about 6:30 am, Saturday.

“When I first got the call, when I heard, you always kind of think the worst. When I came through on Saturday to see it, still a little bit nervous, but then yesterday, unbelievable difference and today, even better.”

Teachers, like Kari Calcagno, spent the day assessing the damage.

“Cleaning. There’s standing water still. Taking tallies of things that got destroyed.”

Overall, Starwalt says nothing major was ruined.

“There were some things, paper products, books, some that might have been on the floor that have been damaged and need to be replaced.”

Classroom rugs were the biggest casualty, but Starwalt says Tuesday will be business as usual.

“Bring it back kids. We want you back.”

Teachers had to throw out some books and rungs. The good news is they don’t think any technology was damaged.

Starwalt isn’t sure when the pipe burst. He says Bridget Graham is a hero, but she declined to go on camera.

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