Service High School students sent home after pipe bursts

A water pipe burst inside Service High School in South Anchorage on Monday morning, sending most students home for the day.

Anchorage School District spokesperson Heidi Embley got a notice at 8:30 a.m. that a pipe had burst in the band hall area.

"It's knocked out water to parts of the building," Embley said, and also forced officials to shut down electricity in the building.

The school's 1,640 students were initially sent outside after an alarm sounded, but were sent home around 9:30 a.m.

Faculty members stayed to supervise students who remained at school. Students are welcome to stay in the building for the remainder of the day, Embley said.

School buses will be running at their normal time of 2 p.m., she said, and after-school activities would not be canceled as most of them take place outside.

Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility was on the scene on Monday morning. The cause of the burst pipe had not yet been identified, Embley said, but it may have something to do with construction work at the building. She said a sprinkler pipe had dumped "tens of thousands of gallons" of water onto the floor.

"They're working on it now. It's going to take all night to clean up in there," she said, adding that it was expected the school may be able to reopen Tuesday.

Alaska Dispatch / Anchorage Daily News