Heating system issue floods Marietta High School

MARIETTA – This weekend wasn’t the first time an expansion joint in the nearly 50-year-old heating system at Marietta High School burst, but in the past, it’s happened while school was in session.

“There’s 156 of them in this building,” Marietta City Schools facilities, transportation and safety director Dave Davis said Monday afternoon as cleanup from the leak – which canceled classes at the high school – wound down. “We’ve had them bust before, but it’s been during the day.”

In those cases, the water was turned off, the area cleaned and the break repaired. But this one apparently happened sometime over the weekend and was not discovered until a custodian arrived around 5 a.m. Monday and found water standing in multiple rooms on the first, second and third floors.

Nine district employees worked throughout the day to remove as much water as they could from the affected rooms, wrapping up around 3 p.m. At that point, The Guard Restoration Co. brought dehumidifiers and fans to set up on the first three floors of the four-story building.

“It’ll take the moisture out of the air, the walls and everywhere else,” said Terry Goudy, owner of the company.

Classes were set to resume today, although some rooms will still be closed, including two computer labs.

“We’re not going to fire these computers up until they’re dry, and hopefully they all fire up,” Davis said.

Damaged computers, books, ceiling tiles and more are expected to be covered by the district’s insurance. Davis noted the district has a $5,000 deductible.

Monday’s closing means that if the high school is closed again, due to inclement weather or some other factor, students would have to make up that day, likely at the end of the school year. State law allows schools five calamity days without requiring makeups, but Marietta City Schools has been closed for four due to snow.