EAST PROVIDENCE â€” Pending the results of air quality tests scheduled to be taken Saturday in the wake of a water pipe break early Thursday morning at East Providence High School, interim School Superintendent John DeGoes said he anticipates the school will reopen on Monday as scheduled.
A water pipe in the new wing of the high school burst at around 8 a.m. Thursday, spewing enough water to flood 20 classrooms on two floors of the wing.
According to DeGoes, there was about two inches of water covering the floor, which seeped into the ceilings of the classrooms below, ruining the ceiling tile.
The mishap forced school officials to close the school building Thursday and Friday.
DeGoes said the water pipe break was not weather related, but was simply a malfunction of a unit that had had some problems previously.
"It was a hot water line leading into a heater unit. The pressure caused the cap to blow off and pushed through the pipe," he said.
The break took place just after students arrived at the school.
"We hadn't started classes yet and the students were sent to the cafeteria and from there everyone was sent home," said DeGoes, noting that parents were contaced about the mishap.
The adjacent Career and Technical Center is also closed because students there also attend classes at the high school.
As of 2 p.m. yesterday, crews with Clean Care of New England were working on cleaning the classrooms and getting them ready for air quaility tests mandated by the state Department of Health. Those tests are expected to be conducted Saturday and the results known by Sunday.
DeGoes said that if the results turn out positive, he anticipates the school will reopen on Monday.