GIBSON CITY — Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High school students may be forced to relocate temporarily to Gibson City Bible Church because of a water main leak.
"The high school will be forced to repair our main water supply, which we have discovered is badly leaking somewhere under our building," principal Chris Garard said in a post on the school's website.
This water supply is transported via a 4-inch main line installed in 1954 when the building was built, he said.
Superintendent Anthony Galindo said Monday the leak was discovered by a district maintenance worker during a routine inspection.
“We’ve known for a little while that it is leaking, but we hoped we could do it on a day when school wasn’t in session. We’ve already missed more school than we wanted to miss to begin with,” Galindo said, referring to the number of snow days so far this winter.
Work began Monday and could eventually require shutting off all the water, including service to the school's boiler heating system.
“We won’t have restrooms or heat, so we decided we better have another plan of action,” said Galindo, adding canceling classes wasn’t an option because students already have “missed more school than we wanted to miss to begin with.”
Instead, the Gibson City Bible Church “graciously let us host school in their building,” said Galindo.
The district was evaluating the situation hour by hour Monday because the extent of the repairs needed, and any damage that may have occurred, won’t be obvious until construction crews have located the leak.
"We will be completely at the mercy of what the construction crew will find once they begin digging both outside and inside of our building. Once we are informed from the construction crew that the water will be shut off, we will then implement our relocation plan," Garard said.
“It will be a challenge, and we are up for it,” he added.
The district is keeping parents of high school students updated using the all-call system. Parents also can find updates on the GCMS website, www.gcmsk12.org.