Broken pipe, frozen boiler cancel middle school today |

Broken pipe, frozen boiler cancel middle school today

FRISCO – Call it an ice day.

Freezing temperatures over the weekend caused a water pipe in the boiler room at Summit Middle School to freeze and break, spewing water onto the boiler and encasing it in more than an inch of ice. The end result, as many middle school students learned by Sunday afternoon, is that there is no school for Summit’s sixth- seventh- and eighth-graders today.

All other Summit County schools will hold classes as usual today, and middle school classes are expected to begin anew on Tuesday.

According to district Superintendent Wes Smith, the water caused the boiler’s controls to short out as the boiler was calling for heat. Thus, vents were bringing cold air into the system and, because the boiler wasn’t heating the air, blowing cold air out into the north end of the school. Sixth-graders meet in the north end of the school; seventh- and eighth-graders meet in the south end. The damage was discovered Sunday morning.

“I don’t think we lost the rest of the school,” Smith said Sunday evening. “I don’t think we have a lot of pipes frozen. We won’t know until it all thaws out.”

The plans are to thaw out the boiler and override the controls to heat the school.

“We’ve got space heaters and fans running right now,” Smith said. “We want to jury-rig it so it’s warm on Tuesday.”

That jury-rigging and damage assessment will take most of the day, so Smith decided to cancel school for students today. Teachers will report to the school, at which point they will be assigned to other jobs. Sixth-grade teachers will visit fourth- and fifth-grade classes in the district, eighth-grade teachers will shadow students at the high school and seventh-grade teachers will create plans for where to put sixth-graders in the,south end of the school until the north end is repaired. It is likely classes will be held in the library and gymnasium.

“If we wanted chaos Monday, we could have everyone come in and deal with it,” Smith said. “But the rumors are true. There is no school for middle school students Monday.”

Jane Stebbins can be reached at 668-3998 ext. 228 or

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