May 26—Despite hopes for an earlier return after Tuesday's flooding in the school's basement, Keene High students will stay remote for the rest of the week, the school announced Wednesday afternoon.
The damage to the main electrical room is "extensive" and will take a few days to repair, Principal Cindy Gallagher wrote in a letter to Keene High and Cheshire Career Center families.
All sports practices and games will continue despite this, according to Gallagher, and students will report directly to the practice fields. There will be no locker room access. Students participating in away games will go straight to the bus, Gallagher wrote.
Students and teachers were evacuated Tuesday morning and accessed virtual classrooms after being dismissed early that afternoon.
N.H. School Administrative Unit 29 Superintendent Robert Malay said someone had seen steam rising in the main electrical room — which is in the basement — and that person alerted the school's maintenance department, which determined Keene High needed to be evacuated.
Keene Fire Chief Mark Howard said in a text message Tuesday that all water and most of the power supply to the building had to be shut off for safety reasons and to allow for further investigation, adding that people were evacuated as a precaution.
Students and staff were not in any immediate danger, according to Malay, but with no water and little power at the school, students were sent home. About 1,300 students attend Keene High, he said.
The cause of the incident is still unknown, Malay said, noting that no evidence was found of any of the school's pipes leaking or bursting.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the cost of repairing the electrical damage was unknown, Malay said.
Sentinel staff writer Molly Bolan contributed to this report.