Penns Valley

Miles Township Elementary assessing library damage after pipe bursts

A frozen pipe burst overnight Friday in the Miles Township Elementary School library. Desks, tables, computers, carpet and 6,000 to 8,000 books had to be removed.
A frozen pipe burst overnight Friday in the Miles Township Elementary School library. Desks, tables, computers, carpet and 6,000 to 8,000 books had to be removed. Robert K. Miller, district director of physical plant

Water damage to the Miles Township Elementary School library could be a blessing in disguise.

Damage from a frozen pipe, after it burst Friday night or early Saturday morning, is giving the school a reason to give its library a makeover, Penns Valley Area School District spokesman Nate Althouse said.

“This is a good thing for the library in a number of ways,” Althouse said. “It’s still on a card catalog system, and it’s a way to get some more technology in there and make it a more interactive and innovative space, and have a more media-centric option.”

Althouse said the district was alerted to the problem after a teacher heard water running Saturday morning.

“The pipe froze and then burst,” Althouse said, adding that damage was being assessed.

The broken line was a hot-water pipe that caused water, steam and humidity damage to the library, books and equipment.

The cost to the district from the damage has not yet been determined. An insurance adjuster is still assessing the incident, Principal Danielle Yoder said.

Desks, tables, computers, carpet and 6,000 to 8,000 books have been removed.

“It’s just an empty room right now,” Yoder said.

Instruction time won’t be affected by the closure of the library while it’s being cleaned out and renovated.

“Each classroom has books, and we’ve gotten support from local agencies,” Yoder said. “The community support has been overwhelming.”

Laura Sarge at the Centre County Library is working to have a bookmobile visit the school.

Keith Bierly, of Forefathers Book Shop in Rebersburg, said he has been in contact with school officials, and has a meeting set up on Friday afternoon to see what the store can do to help.

“The overwhelming majority of the children’s books came from the Sugar Valley Elementary School when it closed a few years back, and I purchased them from a third party,” Bierly said. “Consequently, many books are of an educational nature and geared toward the age group of the Miles Township Elementary School, kindergarten to fourth grade.”

The store has about 25,000 books, Bierly said.

“I’m sure we will be able to help them out in some way,” he said.

Althouse said there is no time line for the library getting back up to its capacity, but he said he hopes it’s complete by the end of the school year.

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