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Water troubles cancel school in Alden-Hebron D-19

(Josh Peckler –
Karen Fallon, a first grade teacher at Alden-Hebron Elementary School, cleans up her room after the school flooded this weekend. Classes were canceled at the school Monday, and teachers attempted saving as many materials as possible.

HEBRON – Classes were canceled Monday in Alden-Hebron School District 19 because of a village boil order and water problems at the elementary school.

All extracurricular activities went on as scheduled, and all certified and district staff worked Monday, according to the district’s website. Classes were scheduled to resume today.

Officials decided to cancel classes Monday at the district’s three schools – elementary, middle and high school – after a water leak was discovered at the elementary building over the weekend, Superintendent Debbie Ehlenburg said.

A back-flow prevention valve malfunctioned Friday afternoon, causing water to flood four classrooms, a hallway, bathrooms, part of the computer lab, the boiler room and the school’s offices, said Kim Qualls, the Alden-Hebron Elementary School principal. She discovered the flooding Saturday when she dropped by the school.

Cleanup crews worked until 11 p.m. Saturday to minimize damage, Qualls said.

She said Monday afternoon that water damaged bookcases and electronic equipment, including computers and other items, but that the extent of the damage is being determined.

“We’re still working with our cleanup crew to figure out what repairs need to be made,” Qualls said.

The village also was under a boil order stemming from work to fix three or four broken valves that caused water to seep up through pavement on Route 47, Village President Frank Beatty said.

Water was turned off in the village Friday afternoon, and the boil order went into effect when it was turned back on Friday evening. The village will lift the boil order when officials get back samples from a lab showing that the drinking water is safe.

Beatty said Monday afternoon the village hoped to lift the boil order this morning.

School officials designated Monday as an in-service day for staff, which will be swapped with a day in April when students were scheduled to be off, Ehlenburg said.


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