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Sudden soaker cancels MTI classes

Jill Murphy, Mitchell Technical Institute retention coordinator, uses a mop Monday to clean up MTI's Campus Center after a sprinkler broke and caused the school to cancel classes.

Classes will be in session Tuesday at Mitchell Technical Institute after crews repaired a broken sprinkler system.

Students were notified abruptly Monday that classes were canceled due to a broken pipe.

Around 11:30 a.m., water began leaking from the third floor of the Campus Center above the library.

"A bunch of us were standing in the atrium area and heard something," said Julie Brookbank, MTI director of marketing and communication.

They soon realized it was running water.

"It got bad really fast," she said.

Maintenance personnel had trouble getting the water shut off at first, but soon had that under control. Then staff all around the building began helping with cleanup.

Kristi Sittner, an assistant in the bookstore, and Jill Murphy, the retention coordinator, both picked up mops to soak up the mess. Others got large plastic garbage bags to cover electronics. Still others trudged to the second and third floors with powerful dryers to dry out carpet.

Water still trickled from the third floor to the first floor an hour after the sprinkler broke, despite the building having no water. Brookbank said crews have not determined the cause of the break.

Brookbank does not think the damage from the incident will be serious. The computers in the library were covered with plastic before any water got on them, and only a few items were damaged.

Mitchell School District's director of buildings and grounds, John Sieverding, has been in charge of cleanup, Brookbank added, and is working with MTI's maintenance staff.

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