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Scarsdale High School Hopes to Fix Sewage Issue Quickly

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – The Scarsdale Board of Education is expected to decide whether to declare an emergency situation at the high school after a major sewer line was found to be blocked last week.

The obstruction occurred in the 1918 wing at the Scarsdale High School, limiting access to water and toilet facilities. The decision is expected to come at the board's meeting at 8 tonight.

In a memo to Scarsdale Superintendent Michael McGill, Assistant Superintendent Linda Purvis said the line was put in place more than a century ago when the high school was first built.

“Access to many bathrooms and sinks was immediately cut off as the facilities staff sought to determine the exact nature and location of the problem,” she wrote. “Unfortunately the building was constructed almost 100 years ago, and the affected line, original to the construction of the building, is 12 feet below grade under weight-bearing walls.”

The school has located a contractor with the specialized equipment needed to locate the exact break, but protocol calls for a public bidding process before undertaking a construction project of this magnitude. If an emergency is declared, the board can bypass the bidding process, and the contractor can begin working immediately. The cost of the work is expected to exceed $35,000.

“Since it is imperative that a quick solution be found to restore access to the water, we will not be able to take the time needed for bidding,” she wrote. “It is understood that the work will be in the best interest of the Scarsdale schools.”

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