Lamar, like many other schools, was affected by leaking pipes from the unexpected freeze.
Leaking pipes avoided a majority of the school’s technology, but classroom walls and ceilings were not so lucky.
“A couple of rooms had ceiling tiles and insulation on the floor because the burst sprinkler system pipes had made them too heavy,” principal Andy Hagman said.
Damage was limited to the classrooms in the 100’s hallway behind the cafeteria.
“Mr. Byers’ room, 115, had 9 inches of water in it at one point!” Hagman said.
Darrell Byers’ photography classroom was said to have the worst damage out of all of them.
“From what I can tell, we were really fortunate as far as damage,” Byers said. “Just a few things were impacted and none that are critical to our program. We will rebuild!”
The water damage in Byers’ room ruined carpets and walls near the floor. Now much of his supplies, like other teachers, are sitting in the hallways.
“In the studio, where the leak occurred, it was not just standing water but also a spray of water from the broken sprinkler line so that area had damage to the ceiling and walls where the other areas did not,” Byers said.
Tricia Turner, an Art IV teacher, was concerned about her students’ artwork that sat in her classroom during the unexpected break. There were plenty of pieces that were susceptible to water damage from sprinklers, but luckily no such damage was done.
“I was so happy,” Turner said. “One of my first questions that I was asking was ‘how is my artwork?’”
Turner’s room only had damages in over the tiles, and is having baseboards taken up and replaced.
“But for the damage overall it was very limited, very minimal in my room,” Turner said.
However, another art teacher, Mrs. Reeder had more damage done to her room. Pipes continued to leak well over a week after the winter storm, and all of her supplies and equipment were moved to the center of her room for safer keeping.
“They had to cut her lower wall in her office that leads to the back of her class where she stores things in the cabinets for clay,” Turner said. “You can actually see through the area where it’s been gutted, both sides of the wall.”
Mr. Hagman hopes for repairs to be complete by the end of spring break. But until they are, teachers have been relocated to empty classrooms throughout the unaffected parts of the building.
“Being relocated is no fun but necessary,” Byers said. “It feels sort of like being a substitute. After 12 years in the same room it’s just weird mostly. On the plus side, it looks like our tired, funky old carpet will finally be replaced so that’s a bonus.”
While Mrs. Turner and her students have adjusted to her temporary room, she is still looking forward to going back to her original space.
“I’m in a very nice classroom, but you know how you’re used to your room and you have all the things around in your room and access to supplies,” Mrs. Turner said. “And I don’t have that here. But I do have what the kids need which are the laptops, so that’s a plus.”