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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Burst Pipe Floods Middle School Classrooms

CONCORD, N.H. -- The 1,100 students at Rundlett Middle School in Concord got an extra two days of vacation after a pipe in the school's new radiant heating system burst Sunday morning.

A coupling, which connects two pipes together, broke, sending hot water cascading down a section of the school.

Concord School District Director of Facilities and Planning Matt Cashman said the company that put in the system just finished the installation in October.

He said they're not sure why the coupling gave way.

"We have investigators looking at it with our insurance company, but we'll know probably within a couple of weeks if it was an installation failure or a material failure," he said.

Three classrooms on the second floor and five on the first floor suffered significant water damage.

The burst coupling was located in Susan Gamache's 7th-grade social studies classroom.

"I'm a little overwhelmed just looking around -- so much of it's personal," she said.

Gamache said many of the materials that she lost were items that she had bought with her own money over 18 years of teaching.

Principal Tom Sica said they will replace the lost classrooms by making other rooms, such as the media center, do double-duty.

He said they will reopen the school Wednesday. The repairs are estimated to take a couple weeks.

There was no estimate on the cost of the damage.

School district officials said the company that installed the heating system will be responsible for picking up the tab.

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