Pipe burst damage undetermined

Kris Long, Print Editor-in-Chief

A burst pipe at Manhattan High West Campus on the morning of Friday, Jan. 7, resulted in the damage of some first and second floor C-Hall classrooms and the main office, as well as the displacement of more than a dozen classes to common areas such as the cafeteria and Rezac Auditorium during the school day Friday and the week after.

The pipe, which burst just after midnight early Friday morning, was part of an air-handling unit carrying heated water in the ceiling of the middle of the second floor of C-Hall, in the corridor adjacent to the C-Hall bathrooms. The exact cause of the burst is still unknown beyond it being a simple mechanical failure, although administration said they do not believe it to be caused by the cold weather as the burst occurred in a heated area. 

“When you have a building this size, it’s unfortunate, but mechanical failures happen,” Building Principal Michael Dorst said the morning of the incident. “And we don’t know the specifics as to what specific part of the unit failed, if it was just a pipe in the straight line, or was it at a joint, or was it in the unit, was it on the line going to the unit, we don’t quite know yet.”

Flooding accumulated in classrooms and hallways through the early hours of Friday morning before the clean-up effort began as staff arrived at the building around 6 a.m. According to Co-assistant Director of Maintenance Jack Platt, the full cost of the damage is still being ascertained, including the impact on classrooms if equipment like computers needs to be replaced. Phoenix Reclamation – a restoration company based in Kansas City – arrived the afternoon of the burst to begin dehumidifying classrooms and offices. 

Restoration continued through Jan. 14 and all students are now back in their classrooms.