Burst pipes impact businesses, schools in Franklin County

  • The Garden Cinemas on Main Street in Greenfield. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

  • Four Rivers Charter Public School on Colrain Road in Greenfield. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 2/6/2023 2:55:24 PM

GREENFIELD — The weekend’s freezing temperatures led to burst pipes across Franklin County, including at businesses and schools.

Four Rivers Charter Public School is expected to reopen Tuesday following a burst sprinkler in one of the school’s classrooms. Head of School Jenni Manfredi said the incident occurred at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday on the first floor of the high school building, causing minor damage to classroom equipment.

“Some pipes from our sprinkler system for one classroom had some freezing and the frozen water blew the head out of the sprinkler,” Manfredi explained on Monday. “The Fire Department got here super quick. It’s really contained to one classroom and office space, which is great.”

The decision to close school Monday came because the school did not have clearance to occupy the building because it was waiting on the fire alarm to be reset. School is expected to be back in session Tuesday, with some classes moved while work continues on cleaning the classroom. Four Rivers will make up the canceled day at the end of the school year.

Manfredi said there is no lasting damage to the room, although some small pieces of equipment will have to be replaced. She credits the Fire Department’s quick response for preventing more damage.

Monday was not the first time sprinklers have closed Four Rivers. Last spring, a fire in a high school bathroom caused significant water damage throughout the building. While repairs took place, Manfredi said their “wonderful neighbors” at Greenfield Community College allowed Four Rivers to use the college’s classrooms.

Mesa Verde on Fiske Avenue also experienced a burst pipe over the weekend, and was closed both Saturday and Sunday as staff cleaned up.

“Our ceiling pipe had burst overnight and we were shut down for a couple of days,” said Mesa Verde manager Steven Delgado, noting this was the first time the business has dealt with this sort of issue. The restaurant reopened on Monday. “It was a little bit of damage, but not that much. … Thankfully it was just a water pipe and it was pretty easy to fix.”

Down the road at the Garden Cinemas, a burst pipe also closed the theater’s basement, which forced the water to be turned off, according to the business’ Facebook page.

“We have a burst pipe that has flooded our basement. Water to the building is temporarily shut off, which means while we are open, our bathrooms are closed, and we can only sell you bottled beverages,” the post read. Co-owner Isaac Mass said Monday afternoon the theater was back to full operations by 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Up in Northfield, Thomas Aquinas College’s Dolben Library suffered a burst pipe as well, however, damage was “minimal,” according to Executive Director of College Relations Chris Weinkopf.

“We had a sprinkler pipe burst in Dolben Library, but fortunately the damage to both our book collection and the building itself was minimal,” Weinkopf wrote in an email. “Some sections of the library have been closed for clean-up, but the library remains open for student use.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.


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