Over $80,000 in damage is estimated in a boiler room flood at the Hamilton Middle School.

A large water pipe near an outer wall failed and poured water into the boiler room Tuesday evening, December 10, overwhelming the sump pump, with the water level reaching between 2 1/2 to three feet deep before it was noticed. The water covered crucial parts of the three boilers in the building. All three must be replaced, according to Hamilton School Superintendent Tom Korst.

That leaves the building with only electric space heaters, and classes have been moved to other district buildings until the new boilers are installed.

Classes will resume Thursday, December 12. The 6th grade classes will be moving to the former Westview Junior High School, and the 7th and 8th grades will move to the middle school's adjacent building - the Pod.

Korst said transportation and food service will not be affected, but all activities planned for the middle school gym and building will be cancelled. Middle school activities already planned for other buildings such as the HHS PAC, will go on as scheduled.

Korst said that removal of the damaged boilers will start Thursday and he was hopeful that the main Middle School building will be back in operation by the end of Christmas break, January 6.

The Hamilton School Board and Korst praised the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department for quick work in pumping the water out of the building before further damage was done.

KLYQ will have more information on our Bitterroot Morning news at 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning.