Burst pipe floods Federal St. art room

  • The art room at the north end of the Federal Street School in Greenfield was flooded with several feet of water. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Federal Street School in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Thursday, December 21, 2017

GREENFIELD — A pipe burst between the art and music rooms at Federal Street School over the weekend, but luckily, the students’ artworks and musical instruments were spared.

Maintenance Supervisor Alan Schmidt said a fitting froze on the backflow preventer in a small closet between the music and art rooms, causing water to shoot into the air and destroy the sheet rock in the music room next door. After that collapsed, he said water flooded the music room and flowed out the door and around the corner into the art room.

“That entire art room turned into a 9,000-gallon swimming pool,” he said. “All the kids’ art stuff was up on the wall on the ramp leading in there drying, so all of the kids art was safe.”

Schmidt said all the paper products in the room were ruined, and is awaiting an estimate on the total value of what was destroyed.

“We’re in the process of trying to get everything cleaned up, the bills will come in and the insurance people can deal with that as it comes in,” he said.

Schmidt said Quality Cleaning & Restoration has placed machines in the music room to heat and remove moisture from the original, 100-year-old maple floors, which they’re hoping to save.

“Probably the luckiest thing of the whole deal was the musical instruments were all in one spot,” he said. “Because the music room is a couple inches higher than the hallway, the water just ran out of the music room, down the hall and straight into the art room.”

Teachers discovered the flooding around 6 a.m. Monday, and Schmidt said he does not know exactly when the pipe burst over the weekend. He said the Fire Department and Department of Public Works also responded, and had the water pumped out of the room in four to five hours.

The classrooms are currently unusable. Music classes have been moved to the library and art classes to other classrooms within the school.

“It hasn’t really disrupted the schools and we’ll get it cleaned up as fast as we can, I’m hoping to get this done within the next couple weeks and get them back where they belong,” Schmidt said.

Superintendent Jordana Harper said she was very pleased with the coordinated response.

“It was all hands on deck,” she said.