Pipes burst at Richfield Academy Early Learning Center - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Pipes burst at Richfield Academy Early Learning Center

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(01/14/14) -  Across Mid-Michigan, most students are back in class after an extended winter break. There are a handful of students, however, that are still out of school.

Snow and ice are not the issue for more than 200 students in Genesee County - but this closure is water related.

When water freezes, it's very powerful. What broke last Thursday night, at Richfield Academy Early Learning Center, is a pipe fitting, sending a shower of water cascading down from the overhead sprinkler system for several hours, flooding parts of the school.

"It was very disheartening. We worked very hard for two years to get this building up and running," said Richfield Public Academy superintendent Pamela Haldy.

The former UAW hall had just opened as a kindergarten through second grade school in September. Instead of teaching kids, teachers were packing up whatever they could to save or salvage.
"Everything was brand new. Brand new computers, servers, telephones, all of those things. Right now were at about $250,000 just with the restoration crew to come in and clean," Haldy said.

Teams of restoration crews, like Saginaw based SunGlo, have been working virtually non-stop since late last week.

"(We're) probably going to be on-site until next Monday or Tuesday. We are 90 percent structurally dry. It's just the intricate demo that we're doing now and the removing of the contents and replacing and trying to re-organize their lives a little bit, " said Jason Klein, of SunGlo.

Even though memories were just starting to be made at the new school, fresh ones will once again be forged when classes resume. Haldy is making plans, just in case the Early Learning Center isn't ready to go next week.

"Our goal is to start school next Monday with these kids, whether we start here or whether we move them to our Center Road facility, we will be back in school next Monday," she said.

A public information night is scheduled for parents at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Richfield Academy main building on Center Road.

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