By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Students at the Fort Banks Elementary School got an extra day off on Valentine’s Day because of the burst pipe on the third floor. Other schools in town held classes Tuesday.
The pipe burst was discovered Monday while students and teachers were off with their third snow day in the past week.
Superintendent of Schools John Macero said the building was checked on Sunday and there was nothing showing. Monday the janitors came in early to remove snow and around 11 a.m. one of them discovered the leak.
“A heat pipe on the third floor, with a heating coil wrapped around it, had failed and frozen,” Macero said.
The result was “significant” water damage in 12 classrooms and a supply closet area. Service Master was brought in for the clean up and insurance adjusters responded quickly.
“The damage will be covered by insurance,” Macero said, adding there is some damage behind the walls. “We don’t know the total cost yet.”
Repairs are being done in the meantime, but students and staff will have to make an adjustment this week. Macero said students in first and second grade went back to school on Wednesday. He was hoping to have kindergarten students back in school today or tomorrow. School for all kindergarten, first and secnd grade students will resume their usual opening schedule on Thursday, February 16. Students will be eating lunch in their classrooms for the remainder of the week. Hot lunch will not be served, however boxed lunches will be available for purchase every day.
“The town services really pulled together for this,” Macero said.
Macero wanted to thank the fire department, the police department, the custodial staff, the facilities department, the DPW and Ienello Electric for their contributions.
“It’s a miracle we are ready to go,” Macero said.