Burst pipe blamed for college flooding

Thomas Clarkson Community Academy closed because of flooding
Thomas Clarkson Community Academy closed because of flooding
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Wisbech’s Thomas Clarkson Academy which was clsoed today due to flooding caused by a broken sprinkler pipe is set to remain shut to students again tomorrow (Tuesday).

A notice went out on the school’s website on yesterday (Sunday) evening warning of the closure and on today Principal Claire Claxton said the decision to shut had not been taken lightly.

She explained a pipe in the college’s sprinkler system in the roof of the second storey had broken sending gallons of water gushing down under high pressure to the ground floor.

The result was water up to 12 inches deep in some areas of the school’s King Community, which mainly houses the college’s humanities and IT departments. In all about 14 classrooms were affected by the flooding, which Mrs Claxton said was probably caused by the recent cold snap.

“It seems coincidental that the pipe has broken and fallen away like this at the same time we have had a drop in temperature,” she said.

The flooding in the recently completed £35 million new building was discovered during a routine patrol of the premises on Sunday evening, and it is believed the water had been running from the broken pipe for up to two hours.

Mrs Claxton said the closure was made on safety grounds while checks to the school’s electric cabling, heating and structure were carried out. She said the water had left floors sodden and had also caused damage to some of the IT equipment.

“There are concerns the water may have got into the electric cabling and because it is all linked we are having it checked to see what damage has been caused and whether or not any or all of it will need replacing,” said Mrs Claxton.

She continued: “It is difficult to know how long we will have to keep the school closed but I’m hoping we will be open again before the Christmas break, even if it is only for students who are due to take examinations. It is terrible that a small pipe falling can have such a catastrophic affect, but it is something we will get through.”

Mrs Claxton promised an update on whether or not it would reopen on Wednesday on the school’s website tomorrow afternoon.

However, while students are enjoying an unexpected few days off staff are all expected to be in school tomorrow morning.