NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WKBN) — Two area schools are now dealing with a mess due to water damage from burst pipes.
On Christmas Eve, a sprinkler froze and burst, spreading water through Newton Falls High School.
The Newton Falls Joint Fire District turned off the water in the building and a disaster restoration company began managing the damage.
“We were lucky that we had someone in the community that spotted the water coming out of the school, and they notified the Joint Fire District right away,” said interim Superintendent Justin Christopher.
Christopher sent a letter home Thursday to Newton Falls parents and community members informing them of flooding inside the school.
Two inches of water spread throughout the high school wing, damaging offices and classrooms.
The flooding also damaged the school’s gym floor, which was replaced in 2020, forcing them to change their girls’ and boys’ varsity and junior varsity basketball schedules.
Four local schools — Lordstown, Windham, Labrae and Jackson Milton — are letting the program relocate their home games and practices.
“It’s great that we have these great neighbors that have been helping us out with our basketball relocation,” Christopher said.
Christopher estimates that it will take a month to resand and fix the gym floor. While crews work to dry out classrooms, they rearranged classes to allow everyone to return.
“Right now, we’re looking at possibly three classrooms being relocated to alternative settings,” Christopher said.
Classes resume on January 3.
In Youngstown, Rayen Early College also has water damage.
The students will return to school online in January due to the damage.
A sprinkler system head burst on the third floor. It caused water damage in offices and classrooms.
The school was already doing electrical and HVAC work when it happened, which is why dumpsters and contractors are outside.
Superintendent Justin Jennings said classes, which are slated to start next week, will be virtual until at least January 6.
“We want to make sure we have our areas for education safe, warm and dry, and that’s going to be our focus for the next three to four days,” he said.
Jennings says the school will continue to monitor the situation and update families as needed.