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Cos Cob School rebounds from flood

December 21, 2018

GREENWICH — At Cos Cob School, clean-up crews and custodians are working six to seven days a week, moving furniture and waxing floors, and teachers are on rotation setting up their classrooms, which have been completely refitted, for the second time.

Principal Gene Schmidt expects almost every room, including the music and art rooms, to be ready by the time Cos Cob students return to school on Jan. 2.

“Every classroom is ready,” he said. “It’s not an active construction site, it’s a cleaning site.”

Almost three months since Greenwich Public School administrators closed the building after a faucet in the second-floor art room malfunctioned, flooding rooms and saturating floors, Cos Cob School is almost ready to open.

The faucet leak damaged 20,000 square feet of space and cost the town $1.9 million to relocate students, remediate the flooding damage and reconstruct the building. The money was appropriated mid-October.

Knocking out the walls and replacing the sheetrock proved to be the most labor-intensive part of the reconstruction, Schmidt said. The flooding was shallow, but the school took no chances, replacing the first foot-and-a-half of sheetrock along every wall.

The nurse’s office, art room, media center and entryway sustained the most damage. The art room is expected to open on Jan. 2 along with lower-level classrooms, but staff are waiting on bookshelves to arrive at the media center so volunteers can begin reshelving books.

Third-, fourth- and fifth-graders have made a weekly trek to the Cos Cob Library, which has allowed the students to check out books there while they’ve lacked a media center. Younger students have attended classes at other town schools.

The flooding did not impact one of the school’s oldest features: the mural of blue skies and green trees in the ceiling of the entryway that was painted when Cos Cob was reconstructed, after a fire burned down the building in the early 1990s.

“We were lucky it didn’t come down through the mural,” Schmidt said. “I don’t know why it did that.”

jo.kroeker@hearstmediact.com

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