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Water damages school

Floors in several classrooms, a supply closet and a locker bay in the Century Elementary fourth grade pod were flooded with water after a sprinkler broke over the weekend. Crews began cleaning up and moving classrooms immediately so students could have class Monday. (Submitted photos)1 / 2
Many books were damaged in a fourth grade supply closet after flooding Sunday afternoon at Century Elementary.2 / 2

Park Rapids fourth-graders arrived to school Monday to find their pod closed after it flooded over the weekend due to a sprinkler breaking.

At about 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon, an alarm call came in that a sprinkler had "let go" at the Century School. It flooded the fourth-grade supply closet and surrounding classrooms as well as down locker bay, said elementary principal Mitch Peterson.

"Why it released, we don't know," Peterson said. The sprinkler has been sent in to be tested.

The Park Rapids Fire Department was called to determine if there was a fire or not. There was no fire but water was running from the sprinkler, Peterson said.

Books, supplies, carpet and walls were damaged due to the water.

"It looked like we had a bright new shiny floor," Peterson said.

Immediately Sunday afternoon Peterson utilized the emergency calling tree and people came in to help clean up. Many classrooms were swapped and some were moved to the empty pod area, Peterson said.

"Most of the move happened within four hours," he said. "We had about 20 people come in to help out."

By the time students arrived Monday morning, they had new classrooms set up for them to use.

An environmental company was called to offer advice about preventing mold and keeping the air quality acceptable.

"Because not only did it affect the carpeting but it started to go up the walls," he said.

The insurers were also on site to figure out the damage. Inventory will be done to figure out the books and supplies that were damaged.

"The teachers did a very good job," Peterson said.

And the fourth-graders have done a good job adjusting, he said.

The extent of the damage isn't known.

"Long-term we don't know yet," Peterson said. "Obviously tomorrow when we start cutting into the sheetrock more and start pulling some insulation to see how damp or moist that is, we'll know more."