Cranston East students got the call just over an hour before school was going to start Monday morning that they’d be getting five days off from school. The reason was a pipe burst – an issue that Edgewood Highland is also dealing with – that happened overnight Monday around one or two in the morning, according to Ray Votto, Chief Operating Officer for the school department.
Clean Care Rhode Island, which is based out of Cranston, was there Monday afternoon mopping up the mess.
Those damages, Superintendent Jeannine Nota said at a Tuesday press conference, included 150 computers as well as some 3-D printers. Votto added that the water from the pipe burst, of which there was about two to three inches, almost got to the library, which is in the basement of East.
The culprit: a bathroom pipe that froze because of the cold weather and burst when the weather started warming up.
Votto said that the water got into some of the offices on the first floor as well as at least five classes, which couldn’t be used at all while the water was being cleared out. Because of the loss of availability of those classrooms and the cleanup involved, the administration made the decision to close the building on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, giving the students at least a week-long break from classes.
The cleanup was paid for through the school’s insurance company, the Rhode Island Trust; no cost estimates were provided yet.
The Superintendent pointed out that East is very old – it was built in 1925 – and these things are “almost impossible to prevent” when the weather gets as cold as it has been.
As cleaning crews continued their work, the high school was also closed on Wednesday, and there was not word at press time whether or not there would be school Thursday.