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North band room flooded when sprinkler head malfunctions

November 21st, 2013 1:17 pm by Rick Wagner

North band room flooded when sprinkler head malfunctions

KINGSPORT — A sprinkler head failed at Sullivan North High School on Thursday morning, flooding the band room and damaging an undetermined number of instruments, music, books and other items, a school official said.

North Principal Brent Palmer said the sprinkler head malfunctioned somewhere between 6:30 and 6:45 a.m. when a handful of people were in the building. He said an alarm went off notifying school personnel that something was amiss.

“It was just a bad sprinkler head is all we can determine happened,” Palmer said Thursday afternoon. “It did get several instruments wet.” 

Within an hour, Palmer said, the situation was under control, the sprinkler head was replaced,  and things at the school were “back to normal.” 

He said the damage was limited to the North High band room although some water got into the adjacent North Middle band room carpet.

Water also flowed into the hallway next to the band room, but he said it was kept away from other areas.

An “army” of maintenance staff and custodians were at the school to address the situation, Palmer said. Joe Davenport, county school system supervisor of maintenance, could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Palmer said an evaluation process had begun to determine which items are a total loss, which ones are in need of repair but salvageable, and which ones are undamaged.

He said it was too early to put a dollar amount on the losses or to determine how much, if any, would be covered by insurance.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Friday's print edition or our electronic edition.

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