School Reopens After Water Line Break

Kids are back at Orchard Hill Elementary School Wednesday. This is after a water line burst late Monday night and school was cancelled Tuesday. Now the school is making sure other pipes don't burst.

Posted: Jan. 9, 2018 1:09 AM
Updated: Jan. 10, 2018 5:43 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Kids are back at Orchard Hill Elementary School Wednesday. This is after a water line burst late Monday night and school was cancelled Tuesday. Phoenix-Talent Schools’ Superintendent Brent Barry said a piece of the parking lot will be closed off, only open to construction workers and their equipment as they fix the broken pipe. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened at Orchard Hill Elementary School.

"When I was principal here at this school back 5 or 6 years ago, we did have a water main break and that was when students were here first thing in the morning. That was a little bit more of a logistical nightmare trying to inform families and pick their children up from school," Barry said.

He added this time a custodian noticed water coming up from underground in the school parking.

"When I drove up here Monday night and I saw all the water just rushing down and the storm drains couldn't even hold it, I'm just thinking 'Holy Cow! What's it going to take for this project?’" He said.

Tuesday, administrators cancelled school for students, but kept it open for staff. Barry said workers were able to find the break quickly and fix it. Now the school wants to make sure this doesn't happen again.

"Now the work is analyzing the pipe before we really get everything back up and running. We want to see what we're dealing with on our piping issues," Barry added.

Brittney Parson's daughter is a student in Orchard Hill Elementary School’s Head Start program. She said having to take her daughter to work with her because of the pipe burst was not the worst part of the fiasco. It's the parking lot.

"That is honestly worse than missing school yesterday to be honest. I knew there would be little delays from some spots missing but I didn't think I'd be the whole parking lot. It's funny because the hole is so small but their equipment is what's taking up most of the parking lot," Parsons said.

She said parking was already hard to find before the pipe burst and now a big chunk is taken up by construction equipment. She said it’s something she and other parents just have to deal with for a while.

"I'm parked on the street right now but again, you just have to be flexible and be patient and it's not going to be forever," said Parsons.

Barry hopes the parking lot will be back to normal by next week.

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Orchard Hill Elementary will not have school January 9, 2018 due to a burst water line. 

This closure includes Head Start and YMCA after school program.

The school's Facebook page says it will continue to keep families updates as more information regarding the water line becomes available. 

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