Hundreds of Lakeville students, staff evacuated due to water main break

Students and staff were evacuated from Cherry View Elementary, Lakeville, at around 8:30 a.m. today due to a water main break.

Students in school when the main break occurred were transported to the Crystal Lake Education Center, 16250 Ipava Avenue, where they were to stay with their classroom teachers until picked up by a parent, according to the district.

Annjanete Peterson, owner of Angel Alley Child Care, said parents who drove their children to school were being met by staff outside the school telling them school was closed.

“Parents were pulling up, and they were waving at parents and telling them (about the evacuation) before their children even got out of the vehicle,” Peterson said.

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Water covered floors at Cherry View Elementary due to a water main break. The building was evacuated, and students were picked up by parents at the Crystal Lake Education Center. photo by Rick Orndorf

Linda Swanson, the district’s communications coordinator, said “a lot of water was pouring right into the building,” and was about one inch deep.

“When I walked in the front door, water was coming down the hallway,” Swanson said. “So water was in the classroom wing all the way down on the west side of the building, and it was coming down the hall and had gone through the office.”

Swanson said the leak was discovered by a custodian and Lakeville city engineering officials are working with equipment trying to dispel the water out of the building.

She said the break appears to be from an eight-inch water main, not a sewer line.

Swanson said she did not know if the school would be open tomorrow.

The school opened in 1992, and Swanson said the break involves pipes inside the school, not the city pipes leading into the building.

Lakeville School Board Chair Roz Peterson said she believes this is the first water main break in any Lakeville school.

Peterson called the possibility of moving students to another building, such as the CLEC, for the remainder of the school year a “last option.”

“I think our first priority is to get the school back into condition, so that students can go back to their home school,” Peterson said.

Swanson said district and city officials are meeting at 12:40 to discuss the situation.

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