Pipe burst leaves 'significant impact' on RPS payroll office

Published: Feb. 19, 2015 at 1:53 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2015 at 5:10 AM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The finance and payroll offices for Richmond Public Schools were "significantly impacted" by a pipe burst at city hall over the weekend. School leaders say the damage is not extensive.

"I told my wife to enjoy her supper," said Fire chief Robert Creecy. "I was going to city hall, because I wasn't going to wait to see how bad this was."

Chief Creecy says a pipe burst on the 17th floor. The Richmond Public School meeting room is now covered in caution tape. The conference room looked like a war zone, and the actual meeting room was filled with standing water. Chief Creecy says water came cascading down several floors.

"How much water do you think was falling here?" we asked Chief Creecy.

"Hundreds of gallons per minute," replied Chief Creecy. "For maybe 12 to 15 minutes. We are not sure on the exact time. We haven't calculated that out yet."

5 of 6 elevators were back up and running as of Wednesday night. The chief says there could be more than $100,000 dollars in damage.

"Several of the district's administrative offices were impacted by the pipe burst, with the most significant areas being our finance and payroll offices and School Board Room and conference areas," said school spokeswoman Cletisha Lovelace. "While a full assessment of the damage is still in progress, our initial review indicates that the damage was not extensive."

The ceilings are exposed as workers try and get back to normal. They are working to make sure paychecks go out on time to thousands of employees.

"We are confident this situation will have minimal impact on our payroll and finance functions," said Lovelace.

Meanwhile, the chief insists there are no mold concerns or possible hazards to the public.

"I don't believe so," said Chief Creecy. "Or I wouldn't have allowed them back in the building."

Because of this damage, Mondays school board meeting will be held at MLK Middle School at 5pm.

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