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Cos Cob School closed all week; some classrooms to relocate

October 9, 2018

GREENWICH — Cos Cob School will remain closed for the rest of the week as Greenwich Public School officials continue to respond to the widespread damage a water leak caused.

The district will relocate at least three grades of students, kindergarteners, first and second graders, while students in grades 3, 4 and 5 will return to classes in the third floor of the school. Officials have not yet determined how long the clean-up and restoration will take to complete.

Over the weekend, a plumbing fixture broke in the school’s art room on the second floor causing a leak that impacted the art room, the media center, computer rooms and the makers space on the second floor, and the nurse’s office, the main office, three first grade classrooms, two kindergarten rooms and the music room on the first floor.

Falling ceiling tiles set off motion detectors, alerting the Greenwich police officers, who discovered the leak Sunday night. That night, the fire department, Superintendent Ralph Mayo, Principal Gene Schmidt and district and school facilities staff gathered at the school to begin to assess the damage.

School officials closed Cos Cob School Monday and Tuesday, and brought in environmental and restoration contractors to assess the leak and determine the extent of the water damage, clean-up, remediation and restoration.

The damage required construction access to get to a number of rooms in the building, leading officials to close the school.

“It was not an easy decision to close portions of Cos Cob School for an extended period of time,” Mayo said in a statement. “However, in order to keep our children safe and provide necessary access for construction crews to expedite the restoration, it is the right decision.”

Third, fourth and fifth graders will remain in the building on the third floor, which was not impacted by the leak. They will also have access to the cafeteria and gymnasium, which were not impacted.

Parkway School will receive kindergarten and Old Greenwich School will take in first and second graders.

The Greenwich Boys and Girls Club will be offering free childcare services for families from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parents should email Schmidt if they need childcare.

Mayo commended the school staff and the facilities department and custodians for working through Sunday night, and the police and fire departments, building inspection staff and town officials for their cooperation.

“I understand that this decision will have a major impact on the Cos Cob and host school communities, but I am confident that working together we will develop a plan that ensures the continued education of our students and the safety of the school community,” he said. “I would like to thank the entire community in advance for supporting the District to make this plan a reality.”

The district has scheduled a school staff meeting for Wednesday at Havemeyer Building at 10:00 a.m and a parent meeting for Thursday at 7 p.m. at Central Middle School Auditorium.

jo.kroeker@hearstmediact.com

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