By Kate Anslinger
Town agencies worked together during a water emergency on Sunday evening, after a sprinkler pipe burst in a first-floor classroom of the Middle School.
A generous amount of water came in from the acoustic ceiling of the band classroom, leaving soaked instruments and furniture in its wake. The water made its way down the hallway, covering two bathrooms, the Viking Longship room, storage and electrical rooms, and the stage in the Neil Shapiro auditorium.
“The stage was covered in water and running over the side onto the floor of the auditorium,” said interim Superintendent of Schools Lisa Howard, who shared that the water was high enough to cover the top of her boots.
Fortunately, high school Principal Matt Crombie happened to be in the building when the fire alarms went off at 3:30 p.m., allowing for a more rapid cleanup and communication of the issue. Howard and Crombie went to work gathering band equipment, furniture, papers and books in an attempt to save the items, while making calls to the public facility manager and service master.
Monday was dedicated to taking inventory of items in the affected rooms, which proved to be a fairly easy task due to the new school’s solid record-keeping. Gilbain and the insurance company will be coming out to assess the situation.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us in terms of insurance,” said Howard, who was impressed with the rapid communication between the town agencies.
School was open for business on Monday and the affected classrooms were moved to a new location temporarily.
This was one of four incidents involving frozen and burst sprinkler pipes, all occurring late Sunday afternoon. The other affected areas were at the following locations:
- 550 Pleasant St., 45-unit condominium
- 46 Lincoln St., 90 units of assisted and independent living for elderly and disabled, affecting 15 units
- 142 Pleasant St., 16-unit condominium complex