A water leak at a Kewaskum school exposed problems with old pipes at multiple schools.
Lunchtime at Kewaskum Middle School turned into a scary sight for students and teachers Wednesday as water poured through a light fixture.
At first, the district was worried the leak came from the roof since it happened on a rainy day. They soon found out in was the water pipes, many of which are rotted. Hours later, a video of the incident was shared on Facebook and seen by people across town.
"If that’s really what’s happening on an every day basis I can’t imagine what else is going on,” said resident Sue Bachaus.
"I was here when they built that and it was a mistake,” said retired teacher Larry Ammel.
The district said the problems have arisen because of the type of pipes installed back in 1972.
“Now all of those galvanized pipes are starting to rot away and that’s what caused the leak,” said Kewaskum Schools Superintendent Jim Smasal.
Smasal said the pipes need to be replaced with copper. A proposal to do so is a part of a recent referendum to go before voters in the district. Small said unfortunately that’s just the beginning of the issues.
“The chillers, the boilers, the things that make up the HVAC system,” he said.
Altogether, the $28 million referendum would fall on taxpayers, breaking down to $19 every year for $100,000 worth of property.
"The biggest concern is that these issues do not go away,” he said.
With 11 days until voters decide at the polls, some residents are at odds about the additional taxes for school repairs.
"I would think that hopefully our tax dollars had been used to make sure that the upkeep was being taken care of prior to things deteriorating this bad,” Daniel Butzke said.
"They’re our future, they need a place to study and feel safe in,” countered Bachaus. "I’m sure they didn’t feel safe with the water coming through the ceilings."
Out of the $28 million referendum proposal, $15 to $20 million would go toward repairs at the middle school and high school.