CONWAY, Wash. -- The bone chilling cold is causing all kinds of problems with Western Washington schools.
In Lynnwood, repair work will take about two weeks after broken pipes flooded classrooms and offices. Sanislo Elementary school in Seattle was closed Monday because of a water leak from frozen pipes. Classes resumed Tuesday.
And Lake Washington High School students were sent home early Monday because a boiler engine burned out and space heaters couldn't warm classrooms enough.
And the farther north you go, the more frozen things seem to be. In Skagit County, classes at Conway Elementary were impacted by broken pipes that flooded half of the elementary school's early learning building.
Back to school was supposed to bring a new year and a new chapter for kindergarten teacher Joy Patterson and her students. Instead, it was a tough lesson in winter weather.
"This is the room I spent the entire summer painting and designing, so devastating. I was completely devastated," said Patterson.
Over the weekend when everyone was on winter break, temperatures in the 20s froze a water pipe in the attic.
"The pipe actually broke here and all this fell down," said Ken Axelson, Conway Schools Superintendent.
The gushing water flooded the entire preschool and kindergarten building. Even with the fans and heaters churning, the damage is done.
"Books, arts and crafts – destroyed," said Patterson.
Water has seeped into the dry wall. Old and ruined carpets are being ripped out. There are also safety concerns about mold and if asbestos was used in this 60-year-old building.
"Air quality is going to be an issue. We'll have to do any abatement there if there's any asbestos again. That's being tested as we talk we'll know more about that in a few hours," said Axelson.
The young students were moved to a smaller classroom, but there's only room for half of the class. Parents are being asked to find alternative day-care for now.
The clean-up could take weeks. Although insurance will cover the damage, it can't replace the heart and soul put into these classrooms.
"We'll get there again," said Patterson.
The Conway Schools Superintendent Ken Axelson later said the building tested negative for asbestos. Contractors say it may take three weeks or longer until the kindergarteners, preschoolers and teachers can be back into their classrooms.