Sprinklers Damage New Construction at MCS

Water damage from sprinklers at the newly expanded Margaret Chase Smith School has forced a delay in school reopening.

At the Sanford School Committee’s meeting on August 17, Superintendent of Schools Matt Nelson explained that, as the sprinkler system was being refilled with water, a leak caused by a broken sprinkler head led to some significant damage at the school. Water infiltrated the fire alarm panel in the main electrical room, rendering the panel completely unusable. As a result, there is no active fire alarm in the building, causing the Fire Marshal to cancel the school’s temporary certificate for occupancy.

Griffin Electric, the subcontractor responsible for the electrical system, was scheduled to send a fire alarm technician to the school on Wednesday August 18 to assess the damage and come up with a resolution.

In addition to replacing the new fire alarm panel, the Fire Marshal requires that all wiring and electrical fixtures that got wet, or may have gotten wet, must be replaced, and all electrical panels must be inspected. Superintendent Nelson reported that both the Fire Marshal and Code Enforcement department have assured him they will do everything possible to get the needed inspections done quickly once the work is completed.

Ceiling tiles were also damaged in the incident, and replacement is underway. Drywall is being inspected as well.

As a result of the water damage, and minor construction issues at the middle school, the School Committee approved pushing back the opening day of school for elementary and middle school students. See related story.