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Athletes return to GHS gym Tuesday, PAC reopening one week away

January 15, 2019

GREENWICH — Greenwich High School athletes will return to their gym Tuesday, one month after Greenwich Public School officials closed the facility due to flooding.

The reopening partially concludes a situation that arose on Dec. 12, when a coupling that muffles vibrations on a heating system in the ceiling of the performing arts center burst. Hot water sprayed through a 4-inch hole, steaming up the space, soaking the ceiling and running down the hallway through the performing arts center and into the gym.

“The gym will be up and ready tomorrow,” Interim Superintendent Ralph Mayo told the education, finance and public works committees of the Representative Town Meeting Monday night.

The Greenwich High School boy’s basketball game this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. versus Staples will inaugurate the new flooring in the gym, which had been replaced over the last five weeks.

Administrators also closed the Performing Arts Center, which is slated to reopen “in a week or so,” Mayo told the three RTM committees.

Each committee voted on three interim appropriation requests by the Board of Education, including $536,000 to fix the damages caused by the flood. The school board also requested $216,000 for a flood in the utility room underneath science classrooms at GHS that occurred in November, and $424,000 to level the playing field at Hamilton Avenue School.

School and finance officials expect the town to recuperate the entire sum for the performing arts center flood, except for the $25,000 insurance deductible.

The gym is reopening two days ahead of a prediction Director of Facilities Dan Watson made on Thursday at a school board retreat, as well as estimates made in December that the facilities would remain closed for six to eight weeks

The damages displaced the boy’s and girl’s basketball teams, which have played their home games on the road. The school board budgeted $25,000 to pay for rental space and transportation, in addition to $511,000 for response and reconstruction.

Norwalk Schools, Stamford Schools, Brunswick School and Greenwich Country Day School all offered to help the Greenwich athletic program with basketball game sites, Greenwich High School athletic director Gus Lindine said. Greenwich middle schools also adjusted their schedules to provide the high school teams with practice time.

A few weeks after the flood, school officials confirmed that the same kind of part in a different location on the same system malfunctioned in April 2016. Bolts surrounding the coupling needed to be tightened, but the leak was minor and the damages were minimal, Mayo said.

Music Instructional Space and Auditorium building committee minutes from that time period state the coupling was found to be installed in the wrong orientation.

In the wake of the three floods and leaks, town and school officials have discussed drafting a town-wide policy that would ensure facilities and equipment are inspected yearly.

jo.kroeker@hearstmediact.com

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