BRIGHAM CITY -- Several students and teachers returned to classrooms Tuesday after minus 10 degree temperatures burst pipes at Box Elder High School.
Box Elder School District facilities management director Jim Christensen said the cold affected a unit ventilator in one of the classrooms around 4 a.m. Sunday.
"We aren't as sure what happened," Christensen said. "It brings in fresh air, and when it gets cold, something blocks the air."
Christensen said the cold air managed to get through, and when the temperatures dropped, it affected the heat levels in the school's boiler and pump system, causing a shutdown.
"When it freezes," Christensen said, "it breaks those heating coils open."
In the end, the freeze left 14 classrooms without heat.
To accommodate the students while the repairs were made, the school held classes in other areas, such as the counseling center, auditorium and gymnasium.
"Any space that was available, so they could conduct school as usual," Christensen said of teachers and students using a variety of locations. "It's never normal when you boot a teacher out of their space, but we have terrific teachers and staff."
Some of the students and teachers managed to return to their regular classrooms Tuesday with the aid of space-heaters left on overnight and throughout the day.
The day's relatively warmer temperatures also helped reopen the classrooms.
Once word of the break got around, Christensen said, the district facilities staff got to work making the repairs.
By Tuesday night, the facilities staff hoped to have all but one of the rooms available.
Christensen said one of the coils was beyond repair and a new one had to be ordered. It should arrive in a week.
The district will continue to monitor the schools so the problem doesn't occur again during the cold snap, which the National Weather Service said will continue through the beginning of March.