Frozen pipe shuts down Muddy Brook elementary school

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GREAT BARRINGTON — After being closed for two days due to a burst pipe, Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School will reopen Thursday. 

A frozen pipe on the third floor burst and sent water onto that floor, as well as onto the two floors below, according to Peter Dillon, superintendent of Berkshire Hills Regional School District.

He said the leak was discovered by staff at about 4:30 or 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Standing water was 2-inches deep in some places. 

An estimate for the cost of damage is yet to be determined, Dillon said. Right now school maintenance staff as well as outside contractors are busy drying out the building and replacing water-drenched sheetrock and ceiling tiles. The school will remain closed Wednesday.

"I hope on Thursday we can use it," Dillon said. 

Dillon said he considered finding a temporary place for Muddy Brook's 352 students to continue their education, but concluded that would be too disruptive.

"It's just one more day, and at the end of the day what we want is to create a safe, appropriate, environment for learning," he said.

He said an agent from the district's insurance company was on the scene Tuesday afternoon.

The pipe apparently froze sometime overnight or early Tuesday morning; workers had found no problems during weekend checks. 

He also said the location of this particular pipe and the consistently cold temperatures are to blame. 

“While I don’t know all the details yet, the pipe is in a funny spot of the building that’s very close to an exterior wall,” he said.

Staff writer Kristin Palpini contributed to this report.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter at @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871. 


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