Detroit school closed for 5 days due to water problem

Central High School will reopen this week

DETROIT – For the fifth straight school day, students at Central High School in Detroit have had the day off. 

It isn't due to a teachers sick-out. It's not a snow day -- obviously. It's apparently due to low water pressure at the school. 

UPDATE: The high school will be open on Thursday, May 12. The Education Achievement Authority said the city's health department has given the go-ahead to reopen Central High School "after sufficient water pressure returned to the building." First bell is at 8 a.m.

View: School Closings list

Parents were informed Tuesday that there would be no school again on Wednesday, and they were not happy about it. 

"Five missed days at a school that's already behind. I'm concerned," said Yolanda Smith, a parent. 

After two years of home schooling her son Victor, Smith is thrilled with how he has flourished at Central High School. He's a sophomore this year. His mother thinks this water problem is mysterious. 

"They got kids losing five days, and there's no other building you can move them to? I mean, where's the plan B?" she said. 

Central High School, which used to be Central Collegiate Academy, is run by the Education Achievement Authority (EAA). 

The EAA said in a statement: 

"While the GLWA (Great Lakes Water Authority) is working to determine the cause of the water pressure issue on the upper floors of the building, we are exploring all options to get our students back in the classroom -- including temporary relocation. We are also in conversation with the Health Department regarding plans for reentry after we determine a solution."

It can't come soon enough for Victor, who also has had some football practices canceled. 

"Most of my friends miss school at this point," said Victor. "It's where we can go to kind of be ourselves."

Smith called the water department, which told her it was determined this past Wednesday to be problem with the plumbing at the school. The school said it is the pipes, but it's not clear whose pipes those are. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) said it is working with the GLWA to figure out what's wrong and how to fix it. 

Here is a statement from the DWSD: 

"The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is working diligently with the Great Lakes Water Authority to fully assess and resolve the water issue surrounding Central High School. We are managing our combined resources to ensure this matter is addressed as quickly as possible to ensure the safety and well-being of all concerned. We will continue to keep the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan informed of our findings and progress."

About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.