Investigation ongoing for cause of burst pipe at Meridian High


LAUREL - Investigators are still working to determine the cause of a burst pipe that damaged 10 classrooms at Meridian High School Saturday, Dec. 7, during a cold snap that brought nearly a week of below-freezing temperatures to Whatcom County.

A sprinkler head burst above a second-floor student lounge in the school's new education building Saturday afternoon, and the water ran for about 20 minutes before it could be shut off, Superintendent Tom Churchill said.

The water damaged 10 first-floor classrooms, and eight teachers have had to move to temporary classrooms in other areas of the school while cleanup and repairs take place.

The school was closed Monday so staff could deal with cleaning and moving. Crews are removing carpet and tile and drying out the floors in the damaged classes. Churchill hoped that teachers could move back to their classrooms by the end of Christmas break.

A third-party engineer will be brought in to determine the cause of the burst pipe and whose insurance will pay for the costs, which have yet to be tallied, Churchill said.

Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or Read her School Days blog at or follow her on Twitter at @bhamschools.

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