Faulty heating unit causes flooding in BESPC first-grade pod
Extensive damage was done last weekend to the first-grade pod of the Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center.
A faulty heating and cooling unit above the pod in the northwest corner of the building created the mess. The pipes above the pod to froze, which caused the sprinklers to kick on and flood three rooms.
“On Saturday, the rooftop over the first-grade pod malfunctioned and wouldn’t heat,” Superintendent Paul Dorathy said. “Staff members came into the building on Saturday and discovered it was very cold in the room.”
The building’s contractor Manning Construction Company was notified and company office, in turn, contacted the heating and cooling company. A crew came out and fixed the heating unit, but the damage had been done.
The pressure form the ice in the pipes became too much and the ice caused the fire sprinklers to kick on above one room.
“The staff discovered it on Sunday and it had run enough that it flooded water from one classroom into another classroom,” Dorathy said.
When the Baldwin City Fire Department was called to the school, firefighters found sprinklers on in a second room. They shut off the water to the building and drained the pipes. However, extensive damage had already been done to the classrooms.
“The problem was a lot of stuff was damaged,” Dorathy said. “A lot of textbooks and classroom materials were damaged. Two or three computers were possibly damaged, but we’re not sure yet on those. We have some property loss, and we’re looking to try and solve that issue and of course that will be insurance company work. I don’t have a dollar figure, but it’s pretty significant.”
A crew fixed the sprinkler system in the pod on Sunday.
Dorathy also said the district’s insurance company is taking care of the matter. Two of the three classes were back in their classrooms as of Tuesday. One class was still using another room in the building until the classroom could be back to normal.
“The sprinklers didn’t malfunction,” Dorathy said. “They did what they were supposed to do. The problem was the heating system malfunctioned. Hopefully, we don’t have issues like this again.”