Olsen gymnasium flooded
The mishap has closed the gym down for repairs. Students are taking physical education classes outdoors and in a classroom, where they work out on mats, said Sylvia Buttler, principal of the school.
The incident also damaged floors and carpeting in an adjacent office and in attached art and music rooms. While repairs are being done, music lessons are being held in a room at the rear of the school library, Buttler said. Art teacher Gay de Montel is moving from classroom to classroom to do her art lessons.
Water also flowed into a small portion of the cafeteria, but no damage was done there, said Bill Atkins, maintenance director of the Port Aransas Independent School District.
Atkins said his goal is to have students back in the gym and the damaged classrooms by Jan. 19.
A custodian discovered the entire gym floor under two inches of water on the morning of Friday, Jan. 2. Atkins said. The water came from a burst water fountain pipe in the gym.
Atkins said he believes the break took place on Jan. 1. He said he bases his belief on the amount of water found on the floors and on the fact that a school employee visited the cafeteria on Dec. 31 and saw nothing amiss.
Atkins said he has not determined what caused the break. He estimated that "several hundred" gallons of water spewed from the pipe before it was discovered.
Using vacuums, school maintenance workers began removing water from the gym floor the same day the leak was discovered.
Also brought in was Gerloff Company Inc., a San Antonio firm that describes itself as a "catastrophe management" business. Gerloff workers worked for several days, sucking up water with a vacuum truck and setting up numerous fans and dehumidifiers to rid the gym of moisture from the break.
The gym floor is made of tiles composed of what Atkins said is a "plasticized rubber." All of the gym floor's thousands of tiles have been pulled up as part of the drying process, but Atkins said he believes most of the tile hasn't been irreversibly damaged and can be reinstalled.
Some flooring, carpeting and sheet rock in rooms adjacent to the gym also will be replaced, Atkins said.
Insurance is expected to cover expenses associated with the flood damage, said Brian Schuss, business manager of PAISD. He said he did not have a damage estimate yet.