Broken Water Pipe Causes Flooding at Moricetown Elementary Secondary School

A broken four-inch pipe feeding the sprinkler system is being blamed for flood which has forced the temporary closure of Moricetown Elementary/Secondary School.

A news release from the Kyah Wiget Education Society says it appears the pipe was flawed in production, causing a malfunction during regular operation.

The leak was detected by sensor systems mid-day, which meant cleaning staff were on hand to quickly shut down all systems.

The society is scrambling to arrange a temporary space for all of the school's students by next Friday.

Witset First Nation executive director Lucy Gagnon has offered the use of part of the Band gymnasium, the small feast hall and the upper floor of the band office for temporary classroom and storage space.

During that time, those areas may have only limited public access -- or may not be available to the public at all. 

The Witsuwit’en Child and Family Centre may be open next Monday -- but since the Day Care systems are tied to those of the school, the society is awaiting confirmation regarding opening.

I-Count and all Adult Education programmes are unaffected.

 

== FULL NEWS RELEASE BELOW ==

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Headline KWES staff and contractors working to re-open MESS quickly

Witset, BC - January 5, 2018

 

On Wednesday, January 3, Moricetown Elementary Secondary School (MESS) experienced a

school-wide flood. The cause of the flood was a broken four-inch pipe that feeds the sprinkler

system. This pipe appears to have been flawed in production, causing a malfunction during regular

operation. The sensor systems detected water mid-day; fortunately, cleaning staff were present

and could shut down all systems quickly.

 

Our priority now is to provide our students a safe space as quickly as possible. Our current goal is

to have temporary space for all our student by Friday, January 12, 2018.

 

Lucy Gagnon, Executive Director of the Witset First Nation, has offered use of part of the Band

gym, the small feast hall and the upper floor of the band office for temporary class room and

storage space. As a result, these areas may be available to the public on a very limited basis, or

closed to the public until further notice.

 

The Witsuwit’en Child and Family Centre may be open on Monday, January 8. Since the Day Care

systems are tied to those of MESS, we are awaiting confirmation regarding opening. Please watch

the official Moricetown News and Events Facebook page for updates.

 

ICount and all Adult Education programmes are unaffected: these buildings and programmes will

operate as usual starting on Monday, January 8.

 

Universal Restoration Systems, an environmental and hazardous waste consulting firm in

Smithers, is responsible for removal of all damaged materials, and inspection and testing of wall,

floor and ceiling material. They will also be decontaminating the furniture over the weekend. URS

has employed local subcontractors, including our KWES Cleaning Services, who have been putting

in long hours all week to get the building ready for students.

 

The URS report will be available by Tuesday, January 16, at which time they will begin wall, flooring

and ceiling restoration.

 

The firm currently is using diesel generators to dry class rooms and halls. Hydro and electricity to

the building has been temporarily turned off.

 

KWES would like to thank the Witset Band for offering temporary class room space in their gym,

small feast hall and upper floor of the Band offices. We also appreciate the community’s patience

as we are working to make available the most accurate and complete information.

 

For more information, contact Diane Mattson at (250) 847-2244, extension 602, or by email at

diane.mattson@kyahwes.ca. To make limited bookings of any of the Band halls, contact the Band

receptionist at (250) 847-2133.

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