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Colstrip schools delay classes Wednesday after receiving “significant water damage”

Posted at 6:08 AM, Mar 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 22:20:06-04

Update 8:20 pm

Colstrip HIgh School will start at its normal time on Thursday.

A frozen storm drain pipe prevented melting snow from draining off the roof, so the water seeped into the school, according to Superintendent Bob Lewandowski.

He said colder temperatures have now stopped the water and and crews are still trying to thaw the drain pipe.

“We’re working on the one pipeline,” Lewandowski said. “Several methods, from chemicals to heated water to a number of other things to clear that pipe.”

An inspection by mitigation specialists shows damage to dry wall and ceiling tiles in four big rooms: Great, Choir, Dining and Commons. Six smaller classrooms are also not usable.

“We’re lucky we have some alternative rooms and some alternative sites at our school,”  Lewandowski said. ”We have a large school system and building for the high school and so we’re blessed in that particular way. It’s just that these larger rooms that are affected are main passage ways.”

Colstrip schools will start two hours late Wednesday after melting snow caused “significant water damage.”

Superintendent Bob Lewandowski sent out this notice:

Due to significant water damage and flooding in the high school from melting snow, Colstrip Public Schools will have a 2 hour late start today, Wednesday, March 13, 2019 for cleaning to take place and damages assessed. Early-bird class is cancelled. Staff are asked to arrive at their regularly scheduled time. Once again, all buses will run 2 hours behind schedule and classes will begin at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, March 13, 2019.