Little Rock schools struggle to overcome winter storm impact


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Little Rock, Arkansas – The Little Rock School District faced significant challenges this week as a severe winter storm wreaked havoc, damaging at least 13 schools. The district is now grappling with the aftermath of burst water lines, flooded areas, and other storm-related issues, impacting the daily operations and learning environment of many students and staff.

Extensive Damage Across Schools

The storm’s impact was widespread, affecting various schools across the district:

  • At Cloverdale Middle School, a major water line burst in the cafeteria wall caused significant flooding in the kitchen and cafeteria. The water was removed, and the area is now dry, but three additional rooms suffered flooding due to another burst water line. The main building’s water supply has been shut off for repairs.
  • Fair Park Early Childhood Center experienced a burst in an outside water fountain, prompting officials to turn off the water supply. Repairs are scheduled for a later date.
  • Fulbright Elementary School was hit by two water line bursts, leading to the shut-off of the building’s water supply until repairs can be made.
  • A similar incident occurred at Little Rock Hall Steam Magnet High School, where a water line burst in the kitchen, necessitating repair calls to businesses.
  • Henderson Middle School now has leaking roofs in the front office, gym, and one of the rooms, with businesses being contacted for repairs.
  • At Jefferson Elementary School, a water line burst in a bathroom wall, affecting the lower hallway and five classrooms. The leak has been fixed, and the cleanup is complete. The school awaits the plugging of a hole in the outside wall before turning the water back on. Classroom carpets are scheduled for cleaning.
  • Mabelvale Elementary School saw the collapse of an awning on its east side, while Mabelvale Middle School had water lines burst in both gym restrooms. Both schools have contacted businesses for repairs.
  • Otter Creek Elementary School and Parkview also faced water line bursts. In Parkview, the burst water line in the cooling tower is outside and does not affect the building’s interior.
  • Pulaski Heights Elementary School is dealing with leaking radiators in the auditorium, a hallway, and two rooms, in addition to a flooded cafeteria. Meanwhile, Pulaski Heights Middle had a water line burst above a restroom, leading to leakage into a tunnel but fortunately sparing classrooms. Businesses have been called for repairs.
  • Williams Elementary School managed to avoid significant water damage after a burst in the boiler room was quickly contained.

Finally, the Little Rock School District Laidlaw Transportation facility wasn’t spared either, as a water valve broke and is awaiting repairs.

The district officials are working tirelessly to address these damages and restore normalcy. This incident highlights the challenges schools face in dealing with unexpected natural events and the importance of having robust contingency plans in place. The concerted efforts of the staff, repair businesses, and community will be crucial in helping the district recover and move forward from this unforeseen setback.


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