A major cleanup is underway at Cassopolis High School. A sprinkler pipe broke in the kitchen, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage, which means school is closed for the rest of the week.
The school spans 130,000 square feet and half of it was covered in water. The superintendent says at one point, 2-3,000 gallons were flowing out of the pipe a minute.
"You just deal with it and kind of move on," said Supt. Tracy Hertsel. But Hertsel may not be able to move on for a while.
"It definitely was a fluke," he said.
A sprinkler pipe burst in the kitchen after the weather warmed up Wednesday afternoon.
Thousands of gallons of water shot out of the pipe.
"This is where it happened where I entered the building and the water was just flowing out here," Hertsel said as he motioned toward a driveway.
But that was only the beginning...
"Basically the [gym] floor was about 95% covered in water and this was the first thing we concentrated on because this was the major magnitude piece, we're still waiting to see what the end result is gonna be," Hertsel said.
From up top, the hardwood doesn't look too bad, but Hertsel says there's water underneath the boards.
"So by shaving the top off they can actually dry the floor," he said. "They'll try that and hopefully we can salvage the floor, but if not, it will have to be replaced."
The carpet in the auditorium also has a 50/50 chance of staying.
"This area was highly affected as water came in both ways from it," Hertsel said. "It has flowed down the ramp, we have an orchestra pit that took on a lot of water underneath there and the stage actually had water on it also, there are areas that are starting to peel away already."
Seven classrooms weren't spared either.
"This is one that got hit real hard by water and behind me you can see the stage behind me that's actually a wooden stage, it has absorbed the water and the carpet is coming off of there," Hertsel said. "Again, you can smell the mold in this room."
Crews are working to remove the mold and moisture.
"They're gonna be running upwards of 500 fans in here," Hertsel said.
So school can start back up again, hopefully on Monday.
The superintendent says there's $400,000. They have insurance that'll cover the cost.
Certain areas of the school will be closed off when school resumes including the gym, auditorium and an area near cafeteria.