Burst pipe cancels school plans


Photo by Sarah Liden

Highland High School was the only school in the School Town of Highland that was closed today due to a burst pipe.

Sarah Liden, A&E and Social Media Editor

After a long week of e-learning, cabin-fever ridden students were shocked to see that they would have another day off of school. This time, however, the issue was not caused by the subarctic temperatures or snow, but a faulty pipe that burst in the main office last night.

“Our maintenance department had crew members working all night in case of issues like pipes bursting. One of the crew members found the water pretty quickly after it burst,” said Superintendent Brian Smith.

Due to the extreme weather, the sprinkler system in the main office near secretary Jenny Cooper’s desk froze. The pipe burst as it began to thaw out. There have not been any extensive damages reported so far. As of today, maintenance is shampooing the carpet, as well as waiting for machinery, such as the PA system and copy machine, to dry out.

This caused a cancellation due to the fact that there would be no way to monitor the front doors with the buzzer system, answer calls, use the PA system, or the fire alarm system.

Although students may rejoice at the thought of a week off of school, these cancellations could not have come at a worse time.

“Unfortunately, the week off was not good for the extracurricular events. I know teams were trying to practice as they get ready for sectionals. The same goes for our music programs preparing for ISSMA contests. With the fire alarms working, we are letting teams practice and the musicians work with their instructors today. It really does hurt missing that much time, but it was just not safe to have students and staff attempting to come to work in -40 degree temperatures. Safety always has to come first,” said Smith.

Besides the pushback of athletic and music competitions, student opinions are split when asked if they preferred a week of e-learning as opposed to traditional in-class learning.

“I wish we could have at least gone to school today especially because the choir kids have ISSMA tomorrow and e-learning isn’t that fun,” said sophomore Kaitlyn Tiemens.

“I really didn’t expect to have a week off. Although it’s unfortunate that the pipe burst, I’m glad I got this extra day, but I’d much rather be in school than do e-learning,” said senior Faith Taylor.

“I was expecting school to be off for the week. I was pretty surprised that we were supposed to have school today. It might just be me, but I still think the weather is too harsh. I’d prefer to stay home in general (as opposed to being in school). Being outside in general just seems like a bad idea,” said junior Alicia Medina.