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Flood closes Jasper high school gym

by Evan Matthews | reporter@fitzhugh.ca

Though school is set to resume next Monday, gym class will not.

The Jasper Junior Senior High School’s (JJSHS) gym will be closed indefinitely due to “significant water damage” to the gym floor.

During the afternoon of New Year’s Day a pipe gasket for the sprinkler system was damaged, causing water to be released onto one of the hallways in the school’s gymnasium, according to Grande Yellowhead Public School Division (GYPSD) spokesperson Nikki Gilks.

Gilks would not confirm the cause of the damage, as the division is “still in the preliminary investigation stage.”

“This pipe has since been repaired,” says Gilks. “We are still investigating the possible extent of the water damage in the school, but the gymnasium floor has confirmed water damage and will not be used when school opens next Monday, nor is community use available until repairs are completed.”

Though the building is run by the GYPSD, a joint use agreement is in place between the school division and the municipality.

And while the GYPSD could not confirm a timeline for repairs by presstime, Jasper’s director of culture and recreation Yvonne McNabb told council at its Jan. 2 meeting she expects the facility to be closed for four to six weeks.

The municipality does all bookings for non-school related events or community gatherings at the school, such as drop-in basketball, pickleball, volleyball, etc., according to McNabb. Community groups can book the gym through the municipality’s front desk.

Except for the use of the gymnasium, Gilks says the school will be open for classes on Monday Jan. 8 as scheduled. High school students will share the elementary school gym until further notice, she says.

The GYPSD maintenance department was onsite Monday, Gilks says, as the department assessed the damage and will continue with their investigation over the next few days.

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