Somersham: Staff praised for spotting icicles which enabled them to prevent burst pipes from causing catastrophic damage at primary school

SOMERSHAM: Quick-thinking staff were today praised after burst water pipes caused thousands of pounds of damage at a Suffolk primary school.

The final toll could have been much worse had it not been for a caretaker who spotted icicles on portable buildings at Somersham Primary School while out walking her dog.

After checking the buildings, in Church Lane, she realised two water pipes serving a classroom, staff room and a headteacher’s office had burst, causing damage to the rooms.

In the reception class room, the vinyl floor covering was immersed in standing water and the carpet area was soaked through.

The carpet has been replaced but children’s wooden furniture, including a cooker and dresser, were ruined by the water, as were fabrics and the children’s dressing up clothes, which will all need to be cleaned and replaced.

Headteacher Lynette Allison praised the quick work of the caretaker and another female member of staff who, with the help of their husbands, discovered the leak and rescued important paperwork from the inch of standing water covering her office.

She said thanks to their quick thinking the paperwork was saved from condensation.

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But the water had already damaged a computer as well as other electronic equipment in the water-logged staff room.

Mrs Allison said: “The maintenance contractors from Inviron have been really great guys and worked so hard since last Tuesday to make sure we were able to get up and running, so we are definitely over the worst.

“We were able to start back at school as planned with the minimum of disruption for everyone.

“It has been a bit chaotic, but thankfully I think we found out quite quickly and the children were on holiday, so we have had time to clear it up.”

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