Hampshire Regional sprinklers flood first floor, students dismissed early

  • A fire sprinkler mounted on a ceiling. WIKIPEDIA COMMONS 

Staff Writer
Published: 2/11/2019 11:11:59 AM

WESTHAMPTON — Students at Hampshire Regional High School were dismissed early Monday morning after the building’s sprinkler system caused about an inch and a half of flooding on the first floor.

The sprinkler system was likely set off by regular maintenance work, according to Principal Kristen Smidy. 

“It’s caused some significant flooding on our first floor, so we felt that (dismissal) was necessary for student safety, obviously with it being slippery and mechanical issues,” Smidy said. “We also had to shut off the water, so those things combined led us to make that decision.”

The sprinklers triggered the school’s fire alarm and led to a fire drill, after which students returned to the building’s second floor. Students were then dismissed at 9:15 a.m.

Smidy said that students will be able to return to school “hopefully tomorrow,” although the school still needs its sprinkler system reset, which will determine whether classes will resume on Tuesday. 

The school has not yet fully assessed the damage, Smidy said, but flooding caused some damage to rugs on the first floor and any files or other materials that were on the ground.

Smidy added that dismissal went smoothly and commended students and staff for pitching in throughout the process. 

“The staff and students here were super respectful and compliant and allowed us to do a very seamless dismissal,” she said, “so I think that contributed to the very orderly way that we were able to get students out of the building.”

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com. 

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