Flooding damages district office

It seems like the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District can't catch a break this year.

At the start of the school year, a batch of gym floor finish refused to dry at the middle and high schools, costing the district tens of thousands of dollars in repairs and inconveniences.

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, a water main broke at the Hostetter Building, which houses BH-BL administrative offices, as well as several business tenants. A week later, the district is still trying to clean up the mess and assess the damage.

The one good piece of news is that we're starting to work with the insurance company, said Christy Multer, spokeswoman for the district. She said the district has brought in an insurance adjustor to deal with the damage assessment.

What is clear is that repairs will take months, not weeks. Part of the problem is that many of the linoleum tiles in the building, opened in 1958, are made partly of asbestos. Most of the building will have to be sealed off for an asbestos abatement project.

Glenville police alerted the district of the problem at around 6 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4, when they observed water pouring out of the building's front doors. The water was under extreme pressure, flooding rooms and hallways more than 100 yards away from the break and causing water and mud damage in most of the building.

The exact cause has not yet been determined; the water main runs under the building's entrance, and may have simply cracked open due to age.

"The presumption is that the pipe was just old and somehow started to leak," said Multer. "A water main is under a great deal of pressure, and once it started to leak, it found its way through the floor."

One area of the building " A Quad, where the district has offices " was not affected by the flooding and remains open, though there is no running water. Modular trailers are being brought in for the 30 staff members who were displaced.

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