Repair bill rising after pool window broken, school tunnels flooded

Published: May. 17, 2019 at 5:02 PM EDT
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(05/17/19) - The repair bill continues to grow tonight at a Bay City middle school after someone broke out an underwater observation window in the pool.

Thankfully, none of the students who were in the pool at the time were hurt.

Superintendent Dr. Stephen Bigelow reported the incident happened Thursday during school hours at T.L. Handy Middle School.

The entire building had to be evacuated due to safety concerns. Classes were cancelled Friday while damaged was assessed and repair work continued.

Bigelow said school administrators are investigating what lead up to the broken pool window.

"We're not sure exactly how the window broke with the brick, as I've said it obviously didn't just float over," Bigelow said. "I mean somebody must of been playing with the brick for that to happen."

The window is roughly four to five feet from the surface. Once it broke, water instantly started to pour out.

"It ended flooding our tunnel system, and in doing so it took out a transformer, several electrical components," Bigelow said.

Power instantly went out at Handy, and then spread even further. "This building is the hub for our entire I.T. system in the district, do it covers our internet, it covers our telephones as well," Bigelow said.

The rest of the pool and tunnels had to be pumped out before anyone could get inside.

After the tunnels were dried out, the district was able to get the 'okay' to bring in generators. They're now powering the internet and phones across the district.

But getting the water cleared away and powering up internet and phone service is just the beginning of this costly issue.

Bigelow said they're still assessing what's broken, what can be turned back on, and how much it all costs.

At the same time district leaders are thankful it wasn't worse.

"Quite honestly when you think about water hitting electricity, all the horrible things that could have happened, we're very fortunate that they did not. You know that's a concern as well," Bigelow said. "So this has a happy ending, we're dealing with materials, but it's going to be incredibly costly for us to repair."

Bigelow said the plan is to have students return on Monday.

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