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No class Monday for most Meridian High students after pipe breaks

LAUREL — Most Meridian High School students will not have class Monday, Dec. 9, after a water pipe burst in the brand new school this weekend, damaging some classrooms and common areas.

The damage did not affect the school's new Career and Technical Education (CTE) building, which houses the Northwest Career & Technical Academy, so those classes will run as scheduled, Principal James Everett said. The rest of the school's approximately 460 students will not have class Monday.

The school's education building was damaged when a pipe burst above a student lounge Saturday afternoon. Water flowed into the area for 15 to 20 minutes before school staff shut it off, Everett said.

"We had staff (members) here who turned it off pretty quickly," Everett said. "That's working in our favor."

Ceiling tiles were among the most visibly water-damaged items Sunday, and no computer labs or technology appeared to be affected by the break, Everett said.

Professional crews continued to clean the school Sunday. The crews will assess the damage and try to figure out what caused the pipe to break, including whether or not cold weather was a factor, Everett said.

"We're trying not to speculate as to why this happened yet," Everett said. "You have so many contributing companies in putting a new building together, and while it was pretty cold yesterday, I don't know why it actually occured."

The new education building was finished in April of this year as part of a series of projects that also included the CTE building, a new greenhouse and a new gym. The renovations totaled about $25.4 million.

The staff decided to call school off Monday mostly to make sure everything was safe for students and so the teachers whose rooms were affected could get other accomodations if necessary, Everett said.