Water damage contained at elementary school

Officials called off school again Monday (Jan. 8) for two reasons: the weather and water damage at Central Elementary, said Superintendent Chuck Winkler.

“We’re literally cleaning up as we speak,” Winkler said Monday afternoon. “All our maintenance staff and Service Pro, an outside cleaning company, are working on it.”

A four-inch pipe in the sprinkler system burst Sunday (Jan. 7) afternoon in the newer section of the Central building – to the right of the main entrance.

The library, several classrooms, the atrium, gym and computer room were all flooded, Winkler said.

Most of those rooms are carpeted and require replacement.

Winkler said he contacted the insurance company and it is expected to cover the damage, which will be in the thousands of dollars.

Over the summer the building went through complete heating and air conditioning renovation by Trane. Not only units, but duct and electric systems were replaced.

There was some damage to the new elements. “We’re talking to Trane about getting that fixed,” he said.

Classes were supposed to resume from winter break on Jan. 4. But frigid temperatures, snow and ice have kept schools closed.

Besides the water main break, weather was still a factor in Monday’s closing, Winkler said.

“We still had ice and snow on roads in Columbia and Bremo, plus pending rain [and] sleet expected to start this afternoon went into the decision to close schools today,” he said.

Winkler expects schools to open Tuesday (Jan. 9) as long as the ice or sleet isn’t worse or lasts longer than forecasted.

The sheriff’s office and Fluvanna fire departments responded to the water main break Sunday and helped with the initial cleanup.

“Without them, we wouldn’t be able to open tomorrow,” Winkler said.