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Hoosac Valley Elementary Temperatures Back To Normal

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. —The heating issues at Hoosac Valley Elementary School in Adams have been resolved and there is only minor water damage. Students were dismissed before noontime on Monday because of cold temperatures and leaking pipes.

"The heat is working throughout the building and the water has been turned off in the sections with frozen pipes and we are ready for school Tuesday," Adams Cheshire Regional School District Superintendent Robert Putnam told the School Committee on Monday. "I was looking today, and everything is up in the 60s but there was a lot of water in the building."

Putnam said masonry dust from the $200,000 boiler room roof repair project clogged the boilers' filters causing three of the boilers to stop functioning.

Putnam said the low heat sensor was never triggered and because of the frigid temperatures this weekend, the school's temperature dropped down to 44 degrees and caused some of the pipes to freeze on the Commercial Street side of the building.

Administrators learned of this early Monday morning and services were dispatched quickly. He said it was thought that the temperature could be brought back up to normal before school started. Putnam said this was not the case and although all the boilers were up and running and many classes were brought up to a normal temperature, nine classrooms were still below 54 degrees by midmorning.

This lead to early dismissal.

Putnam said as the building was brought up to a normal temperature, some of the pipes burst causing water damage in a classroom in the corner of the building.

"There was water leaking in various amounts which forced us to relocate some of the programming but a classroom on the corner of the building got soaked several times today," he said. "There is a bathroom right above it and pipes burst. Some of the toilets themselves were cracked."

He said some of the heating pipes also burst, which caused some damage in the auditorium.

"That burst and flooded a number of different lighting units," he said. "When I left there was no light."

Currently all has been repaired and that a ceiling tile took the brunt of the water damage.

Putnam said conversely the gymnasium heating issues that caused students to wear coats to physical education late last year has been remediated.

"The HVAC system is working reliably, and it was the warmest place in the entire building today," he said.

He said an issue with the gymnasium HVAC is access and the units can only be reached for maintenance from the outside. Putnam said Adams Plumbing in Heating plans to create indoor access.

In other business, Putnam said the Cheshire Fire Department alerted him that two of Hoosac Valley High School’s hydrants were compromised because of the cold. 

"The chief said it is OK to operate the building with two out of the four hydrants and they have good pressure and will suffice," he said. "The parts have been ordered and a repair has been planned."  

Putnam said this was found Thursday night when multiple fire departments were battling a blaze on Windsor Road. Trucks had to pull water from Hoosac Valley and transport it to the scene. 

Tags: ACRSD,   HVAC,   school closures,   

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