Bartlett ISD delays return date for students due to water damage

Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 7:37 PM CST
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BARTLETT, Texas (KWTX) - Damages from the recent arctic blast forced Bartlett ISD to push the start of school two days back. Originally, the first day was supposed to be Tuesday, but now the district announced students will be back on Thursday.

The arctic blast caused a hot water line to burst in the school cafeteria kitchen. Since then, crews have been cleaning up the damaged insulation inside the walls.

District superintendent estimates Theodore Clevenger estimates the water line burst will cost the district thousands. Clevenger said the cafeteria and kitchen had about an inch of water.

“It’s one of the last things you want to see when you’re walking through your buildings,” he said.

The superintendent was inspecting the K-12 school on Christmas when he noticed all the water. He said his first reaction was to call for help.

“A lot of the manpower was kind of spread thin,” Clevenger said. “It wasn’t until maybe a few days after Christmas that we had some folks come out.”

Local contractors have been swamped with repairs since the arctic blast, causing the delays. Bartlett ISD uses the school cafeteria to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“When you start looking at the logistics of how that’s exactly going to happen and in a timely manner really that’s really what the delayed start came down to,” he said.

Clevenger said there’s a chance these repairs could take longer than Thursday, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to serve his students when they return.

“If I need to be outside on the grill, that’s what I’ll do,” he said.

Bartlett ISD will not have to make up the school days because they already have extra days built until their calendar. Both Tuesday and Wednesday were turned into professional development days for staff.