A HIGH school was forced to close after a burst pipe flooded part of the building causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Messages were sent out to pupils at Bispham High School advising them to stay off school after the catastrophe was discovered on Monday morning.
Deputy headteacher John Topping said the problem was found when the school building was opened at 6.30am and water was cascading out of a main water pipe in the entrance hall at tremendous pressure.
The school will remain closed today as the clean-up operation continues.
Mr Topping told The Gazette: “I’m not sure exactly what’s happened or when but the school was open on Saturday and there were no problems, so it may have happened overnight.
“Thousands of gallons of water have escaped into the main foyer, the hall, my office and the atrium which are all completely saturated.
“There was no way we could open the school, we’ll have to check the heating and the electricity mains to make sure the building is safe.”
Mr Topping said although the area affected was relatively small the incident had been “highly disruptive”.
He added: “This has caused thousands of pounds of damage and we’ll have to pull up all the saturated carpets and replace them. Unfortunately lessons have been cancelled but luckily the Year 11 science exams can still take place as they’re held in the sports hall, away from the affected area.
“Students have been called in for a revision session at 1pm as previously planned.”
Mr Topping said he had been impressed with how staff at the Bispham Road school had handled the situation.
He added: “With all this modern technology we were able to get the news out on the radio, on our website and onto Facebook almost immediately. Pupils who had already arrived at school by bus were kindly taken home by the driver and staff have come in to help with the clean up and to minimise the damage.”
An area forum to be held at the school will go ahead as planned tonight.
For the latest information on the school’s closure visit the website at www.bisphamhigh.co.uk