"critical" pipe-replacement needs are Franklin, Keppel, Muir and R.D.
White elementary schools and Toll Middle School, according to
All of the schools are undergoing modernization work. Construction
crews became aware of the rusty pipes after knocking down walls to
complete their work, which includes the installation of air
conditioning, wiring, ceilings and lighting, officials said.
Schools that already have undergone modernization work meet
plumbing requirements, officials said.
The plumbing at five schools slated for future projects will be
reviewed later to determine if pipes at those schools meet state
criteria. Those schools are Horace Mann and Marshall elementary
schools, Wilson Middle School and Glendale and Hoover high schools.
In several sections, the pipes at the five schools named in the
emergency resolution have rusted through and, in some cases, are
leaking water, said Ken Gilleland, construction project manager for
the district. Sections of piping have been patched with sheet metal
and rubber over the years, but the problem has become too big to
"We need to get this taken care of right away," Gilleland said.
"The water tastes a little funny. It's got that metal taste to it.
You could hit some of these pipes with a hammer and [they] would open
"But there is no health concern," he added. "We've tested the
water according to state regulations and determined there is no
State regulations mandate that the district chlorinate the water,
check the inside of the pipes, flush the pipes and check the water to
see that it meets state criteria, said Dick White, the district's
administrator of planning, development and facilities.
The emergency resolution allocates about $500,000 in district and
state facility improvement funds to replace the pipes. Measure K bond
money, which is used for modernization of Glendale schools, cannot be
used, White said. The maximum amount of available Measure K funds
already was allocated for each school, so another source of funding
The district sets aside some of its own money, as well as state
funds, specifically for roofing and plumbing projects. The emergency
resolution allows the district to negotiate with site contractors to
do an additional job, separate from the original contracts at each of
the five schools. Rusted pipes burst 10 years ago at College View
School, leaving an inch or two of water inside the school, White
The weak, rusty pipes at R.D. White Elementary can only handle one
toilet flush at a time right now, Gilleland said. R.D. White faculty
and staff, while preparing next week for year-round school to begin
July 8, will have to get by with bottled water and portable toilets.