students will return to classes on Thursday after spending an unexpected day at home on Wednesday when officials decided to close the Lake Forest elementary school building due to a cracked sewer line.
According to Carol White, director of buildings and grounds for District 67, plumbing crews are working on the pipe and should have their work completed by 9 tonight (March 7).
"We could open the school right now," White said at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon.
In an email to parents, school officials said "there was no damage to the building and all of the repair work has taken place outside. There are no concerns about health issues."
Tuesday afternoon, White said she received a call from the school saying there was a strong sewer odor in the building. Thirty minutes later, a maintenance worker noted the sanitation manhole cover in front of the building was full. White said the hole is 8 feet deep.
After school was dismissed on Tuesday, a plumbing company arrived and attempted unsuccessfully to break through the apparent clog in the sewer line. As the hour approached 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, White called Superintendent Harry Griffith and recommended the school should be closed on Wednesday.
During work on the sewer line on Wednesday, workers discovered a crack in the sewer line likely caused by tree roots. The front of the school building is dotted by large Oak trees.
White said it's been a year since the sewer line was routed, and that it's an annual occurrence due to the tree roots.
"It's an old clay pipe and they can get little cracks in them," said White, who added the expense to repair the pipe would come out of the buildings and grounds operating budget.
Good news for students. The day off will not be held against them, and they will not have to spend an extra day in school this year with just a few months left to go, according to school officials.