Hilton Head IB Elementary closed today for sewage concern

School is canceled today at Hilton Head Island International Baccalaureate Elementary because of a sewage blockage reported Monday afternoon.

Hilton Head I.B. Elementary is the only school affected, said Beaufort County School District spokesman Jesse Washington. Students at the adjacent Hilton Head School for the Creative Arts will have class, as that school was not affected by the blockage, he said.

"We regret the inconvenience," principal Jill McAden said in a note to parents. "However, we don't want students to be faced with health-related issues that may occur if toilets are not readily useable."

Pete Nardi, spokesman for the Hilton Head Public Service District, said late Monday afternoon the blockage had been cleared. The issue was limited to the school's plumbing and didn't affect other customers, he said.

He wasn't immediately sure what caused the blockage.

Washington said the blockage was cleared too late in the day for the district to reverse its decision to the close the school. He said officials wanted to decide before school let out for the day so notice of the closure could be sent home with students.

Hilton Head Elementary will make up the missed day Dec. 20, the first day of winter break, he said.

The Hilton Head Boys and Girls Club and the Island Recreation Center will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. today to provide child care for students who need it, according to representatives of those organizations.

Details: Boys and Girls Club, 843-689-5565; or Island Recreation Center, 843-681-7273.