A burst sprinkler pipe, which effected seven classrooms in Evelyn L. Morris Early Childhood Center's E Wing hallway, resulted in the closure of the school to students Jan. 9 and Jan. 10. The school is expected to reopen to students on Monday.

Below-freezing temperatures last week caused a sprinkler pipe to burst at Evelyn L. Morris Early Childhood Center in Lincoln.

The burst pipe, which affected seven classrooms in the E-wing hallway, resulted in the early dismissal of students on Jan. 8 and the closure of school to students Thursday and Friday. The school reopened to students on Monday, relocating the students from the two worst damaged classrooms within the school.

During last week’s frigid temperatures, the coupling on a sprinkler pipe located in the ceiling near the wall dividing classrooms E8 and E9 split in half after condensation froze inside the pipe. As the ice in the pipe melted, it prompted the system’s pump to distribute water, soaking the E-wing at the school. Stevenson estimated that with 150 pounds of water pressure, approximately 10,000 to 15,000 gallons of water seeped into the school on Wednesday afternoon.

Those two classrooms will require significant work, including replacement of portions of the drop ceiling, insulation, cabinets and drywall that Supervisor of Building and Grounds Glen Stevenson said is expected to take a week or two to complete.

Stevenson said that if it wasn’t for the quick response of the Ellendale and Carlisle fire companies in helping to ward off the incoming water, that the damage could have been much more extensive.

“The fire companies were awesome, they really helped us out,” he said. “Had it not been for their help, we probably would have had more water in the halls and more rooms damaged.”

The other five classrooms affected, as well as the hallway, mainly suffered damage to the carpeting, which has been ripped up and will be replaced with new carpeting and tile.

Immediately following the incident, Servpro crews worked to rip up carpet, clean up damaged insulation from the classrooms’ ceilings and dry up the floors as quickly as possible.

As of Tuesday, crews had already started working to replace drywall where necessary and Stevenson said he expects insulation repair to begin this week

“Everything’s moving along pretty quickly,” Stevenson said Tuesday. Invoices for repairs are still coming in, and Stevenson could not provide an estimate of the cost of the damages.