Barrington school closes after water pipe bursts

Primrose Hill School - Barrington, RI

Primrose Hill School has been closed following a water pipe that burst on Wednesday morning.

Primrose Hill School has been closed following a water pipe that burst on Wednesday morning.

Students at Primrose Hill School in Barrington enjoyed a day off from classes on Thursday and will do so again on Friday, after district officials ordered the school closed to repair a burst water pipe.

The pipe burst on Wednesday morning, but students and teachers were able to finish out the rest of the school day. District officials decided to close the school in order to expedite the clean-up and repair process. They expect the building to be reopened to students and teachers on Monday morning.

At about 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16, Primrose Hill School staff noticed a leak in the ceiling above the library. Maintenance personnel took a closer look, delving behind the drop-ceiling tiles, and discovered a burst water pipe.

Barrington Schools Superintendent Michael Messore said the students were outside enjoying recess when staff noticed the leak. He said teachers extended the recess period a bit as the district’s in-house plumber shut off water to the affected pipe and other staff roped off the area.

“School resumed … the teachers didn’t miss a beat. The kids didn’t miss a beat,” Mr. Messore said, adding that he commended the teachers for the response to the situation.

On Wednesday night, after speaking with the contractor hired to repair the broken pipe and damaged ceiling, Mr. Messore sent out an phone message notifying parents of Primrose Hill School students that the school would be closed Thursday and Friday.

“I know that you received a call from Superintendent Michael Messore regarding the closure of the school for the next few days while they complete the necessary repairs to the ceiling as a result of the water leak,” wrote Primrose Principal Paula Montesi. “In addition, all after school activities have been cancelled. I will inform you as soon as possible as to when these activities will be rescheduled. More details regarding the date of the last day of school will be forthcoming from Mr. Messore who has been in contact with RIDE.

“It is our intention to welcome our students back on Monday morning.”

Mr. Messore said he has already applied for a waiver from the state that would excuse the affected students from making up the lost school days. He said some students were also scheduled to take NECAP assessments on Thursday and Friday, and will be allowed to make up the missed work early next week.

While the students were given the day off, Primrose Hill teachers took advantage of the situation to focus on professional development instruction in available space at the middle school.

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