ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Classrooms and hallways are empty at all Elizabethtown Independent Schools because sub-zero temperatures burst pipes leaving damage that sidelined the start of the new year.

Water damaged three of the district's five schools on New Year's Day including the Elizabethtown High School, Morningside Elementary and T.K. Stone  Middle School campus.

Superintendent Jon Ballard says the HVAC system flooded an entire wing of the high school. "We had a couple of pipes burst and water was spilling out from both of those units," he said.

Classes were supposed to start Wednesday, but they were called off all week.

Ballard said they have a mess to clean up before students return. 

"We had to get all the water up, we had to fix the units that were the problem, get those repaired. Any shelving or equipment made from the particle wood was destroyed," he said. 

Dozens of bookshelves, closets and teacher's desks are marked for the trash. And there are fans placed in every corner of the building, as cleanup crews go room to room checking moisture levels in the walls 

Crews had to cut out the baseboards and bottom of the drywall, according to the Chris Jansen, supervisor for Paul Davis Restoration. 

"A lot of times that drywall is like a sponge and it soaks up that water pretty quickly," Jansen said. 

It was just as bad at the elementary and middle school.  The boiler room flooded under 4 or 5 feet of water.  It short-circuited everything and knocked out power to both buildings. 

Ballard said they hope to reopen Monday. "We won't have them back until we know there's a safe and secure environment," he said.

School leaders hope insurance will cover the cost of repairs. A makeup day is scheduled for President's day February 19th. 

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