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Waterline breaks at six Sand Springs school sites prompt board's emergency declaration

Waterline breaks at six Sand Springs school sites prompt board's emergency declaration

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The Sand Springs Public Schools board met in emergency session Sunday afternoon to deal with waterline breaks at six district sites related to the recent historic winter weather.

Superintendent Sherry Durkee said the board declared an emergency, which allows her, as CEO of the school district, to enter into cleanup and damage mitigation contracts without adhering to the timeline of the Oklahoma Public Competitive Bidding Act of 1974.

“That means work can get started faster,” she said.

According to the board’s unanimous resolution, the recent period of extended subfreezing temperatures led to waterline breaks at Angus Valley Elementary School, the Early Childhood Education Center, Memorial Stadium, the Board of Education Building, the old Central Ninth Grade Center, and the Julia Martin Administration Building.

Durkee said the Early Childhood Education Center had two waterline breaks, and that site would be in distance learning at least through Monday. The superintendent said she hoped students could return in person on Tuesday.

The breaks at the ECEC and the one at Angus Valley Elementary School, all of which were on outside walls, “are causing the most problem with disruption of learning,” Durkee said. “Those are the most concerning ones.”

Angus Valley students will be in distance learning until further notice, she said Sunday.

A waterline break in the Board of Education Building caused some flooding in the central office area, Durkee said, and flooding was found in the attendance area at the old Central Ninth Grade Center, which is where the Virtual Academy is housed.

At the Early Childhood Education Center, only the main office area and one other area are flooded, but the classrooms are not, she said.

The board’s emergency declaration Sunday also allows Durkee to enter into contracts totaling more than $75,000 without additional board action.

“We’re running into a place where it was going to cost more than I could authorize without the board declaring an emergency,” she said.

Sand Springs Public Schools employs its own plumber, Durkee said, but she added that outside restoration and mitigation work needs to be done, too.

“There’s a lot of cleanup that goes alongside that,” she said.


Featured video: Crews fix waterline breaks


Photos: Tulsa, surrounding communities hit by icy weather

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