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Dietrich School Making Adjustments Following Broken Pipe Incident


By Brittany Cooper

Dietrich, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Remember those frigid temperatures we experienced a week ago?

Dietrich School certainly does.

One of the sprinkler pipes cracked and broke and when it thawed, water went everywhere, causing flooding and water damage.

Last Tuesday at Dietrich, a fire alarm went off and Superintendent Neal Hollingshead knew this was not a drill.

"Some kids came down and said that the sprinklers in the first grade had exploded. So I hurried up here and the sprinklers' head had cracked and the water had filled in above it on the ceiling...right here had come to the ground, about a 3 feet to 4 feet pile of insulation," explains Hollingshead.

Fortunately the students in the first grade class were seated in their desks, away from the flooding area.

He adds, "there was water all over this floor, water went into the hallway into the lockers, and next to here is the science room, some water went under there, but it's vinyl we thinking that will be ok, and the water started dripping and filling through the hallway and next to this is the library and started dripping into the library."

Several classes are in different locations as a result. There's even a temporary library in the teacher's lounge and the high school band was moved into the student lounge.

Having to move all of your belongings, your desk, the decorations in the classroom into a new environment can be a little stressful, but as you can see around me, the students and staff have settled into their new location quite nicely.

Dietrich Principal Thad Biggers says, "obviously some angst and stress there, both on the part of the teachers and students. Both teachers once we moved them in on Thursday spent quite a bit of time Thursday, Friday and Saturday getting the classrooms ready as you can see this was the band room last week and as you can see the teacher did a lot of work to get it ready for her first graders."

Yet there is some humor in all this.

Hollingshead adds, "some of the kids felt like it was their fault that the water had broke because they were praying we would get out of school because of cold weather...but it's kind of funny. We took three days off because we had three snow days."

With winter break approaching, Hollingshead believes normalcy shall return to the school when classes resume in January.

Dietrich is working with its insurance company as well as Ree–Construction.

An estimated cost of damage has been not determined.

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