Classes canceled at Lowell High School Wednesday amid ongoing heating issues

LOWELL, Mass. — Lowell High School students will remain at home Wednesday after a burst pipe caused more heating issues there Tuesday night.

Boston 25 News received a video that shows water gushing onto the gym floor during Tuesday's basketball game.

Parents in the city say the situation is an emergency. There has been an ongoing debate over what to do about the high school, which is old and has structural issues.

The high school has been dealing with heating problems since November, when a robocall went out to inform students and staff members to dress in layers. 12 classrooms had limited heat, along with the cafeteria and the library.

Space heaters were brought in by teachers and a thermometer read 45 degrees in a classroom.

Parent Ann Draper said her son, a senior at the school, called her to say his hands were turning purple and the cold was becoming a real distraction.

“There was ice on the cafeteria equipment this morning. The gym had no heat, which usually means the locker rooms had no heat. My son had a gym teacher tell him the gym, the highest it got today was 47 and they still had gym classes,” said Draper.

Draper says parent calls to the school and city hall over the past month have gone unreturned.

Boston 25 News went to the city manager’s office to speak with him:

“We are experiencing heating issues mostly related to frozen pipes. We are working to rectify them as quickly as possible. The superintendent of schools has informed me if there are any emergency situations, such as you are pointing out, that he would inform me, but at this point I have not heard of any,” said Lowell City Manager Kevin Murphy.

Late Tuesday night, officials announced the building would not be opened on Wednesday.

Officials said the parts necessary to fix the heating system has been ordered, and the Department of Public Works will work Wednesday to try to correct the problem in order to re-open Thursday.

Meanwhile Tuesday night, Lowell City Council voted to withdraw plans to build a new high school on the outskirts of town. The plan now is to look at other options downtown.