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Hearne High School closed indefinitely after major water damage caused by winter storm

A water pipe burst sometime between the night of Feb. 15 and the morning of Feb. 16 due to the freezing weather and filled most of the building with about 4 inches of water.
City of Hearne
City of Hearne(KBTX)
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 6:30 PM CST
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HEARNE, Texas (KBTX) - Hearne High School is closed indefinitely after a burst water pipe flooded most of the building with 4 inches of water causing major damage. School officials said it will be at least another 10 days before they will be able to re-evaluate the repair process and find a target date for a return to campus.

According to superintendent Adrain Johnson, the pipe burst sometime between the late-night hours of Feb. 15 and the early-morning hours of Feb. 16. He said the pipe burst because of the freezing weather.

Johnson said maintenance crews found the school flooded on Feb. 16 and cut the water supply to the school. By that time, flooding had already caused major damage. He said the burst happened in the gymnasium foyer and severely affected every room in the school except for the cafeteria and the library. Johnson said both of those rooms did suffer some damage, but not to the same extent that most of the building.

Johnson said Hearne ISD is already working with a local construction company on water damage restoration, mitigation, and repairs. However, right now, the company is still focused on getting all water and moisture out of the building.

No target date has been set for students to return to the classroom, but Johnson said the district will re-evaluate the week of Mar. 15. He said the first phase, getting all water out and all rooms in working order, is expected to take 4-6 weeks. Phase two, redoing the gymnasium floor, is expected to be completed by the end of June. The final phase, all remaining repairs, should be completed by August.

Johnson said the school’s insurance will cover the cost of the necessary repairs.

Despite the widespread damages to the building, Johnson said learning has been uninterrupted for the most part. He said teachers were prepared for sustained online learning due to the winter storm when they left for the weekend on Feb. 12. That may have prevented more damages because teachers took more of their teaching supplies and necessities home in anticipation of the winter storm, said Johnson.

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