A pipe burst at Brighton High School last week. Dryers have been set up in the hallway to help dry things out. Photo courtesy John Combs

As students and staff members enjoyed what is likely the last snow day, crews were working hard to repair water damage at Brighton High School after a pipe burst late last week.

Superintendent Dr. John Combs said maintenance crews have inspected the district’s buildings each day during the deep freeze and snowstorms that closed the county for several days.

“That morning the Brighton foreman was inspecting the building and an alarm was going off,” he said. “We thought it was just a faulty alarm, the fire department had been out overnight. A sprinkler head had burst, though.”


The burst pipe affected 43 classrooms and three hallways, an estimated 70,000 square feet. The counselors’ offices and offices of assistant principals Margarette Alsbrook and Brian Crowson were also flooded.

Combs said the only damage done to walls was in the classroom where the sprinkler was going off, but there was three to five inches of water on the floor elsewhere.

“We have to replace doors and the affected floors. Water got under the tiles.”

In the days since, water was removed from the building and ServiceMaster has been working to dry everything out. Crews came from Atlanta and Nashville and will be in town all week to conduct the necessary repairs and get the building ready to reopen.

Teachers and staff will be able to access the building, but students will not return until at least next week. They will be working virtually until then.

Combs said one teacher’s classroom was destroyed, as were some textbooks, but he believes insurance will cover the losses.

ServiceMaster crews work to remove the tile floor after Brighton High School was flooded by a busted pipe.

Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.