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No heat shuts down CK Junior High

District officials canceled classes Wednesday at Central Kitsap Junior High School because of a water leak in the school’s 46-year old boiler.

This is the third time in the past four years the boiler has leaked, but the first time it disrupted students and staff.

The leak occurred some time during the weekend, which included the observance of Martin Luther King Jr., holiday Monday. When students and staff returned to school Tuesday they had a cold awakening.

“It was pretty nippy,” said CKJH principal Barbara Gilchrest.

Portions of the school including classrooms, the library, science annex and music building were not getting heat. After-school activities including sports practices were canceled Wednesday. A notification was sent home with students Tuesday stating school would be canceled Wednesday while repairs were made.

The leak was located on the west side of the boiler and cost $1,000-$1,500 to repair. A welder contracted with the district spent eight hours Wednesday fixing the problem, said Richard Best, CKSD’s director for facilities, maintenance and construction.

Discussions have started about replacing the boiler, but it also would involve replacing the pipes at the school at a cost of approximately $200,000. Best said and those funds would not be recovered if a new school was built.

The district hopes to replace CKJH, which was built in 1959, with a new structure built on the same site. Voters rejected that notion in September when a bond measure was firmly defeated at the polls.

Best also said the disruption to classes was not a good situation either.

“We’re trying to ascertain a balance,” he said, between maintaining the system to meet educational needs and spend district resources wisely.

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