Update: Baird Middle School closed Wednesday after sprinkler system flooded several classrooms

Hampden County

LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – The Baird Middle School will be closed for the third day after a malfunction with the building’s sprinkler system flooded several classrooms on Sunday.

This announcement coming from Ludlow schools superintendent Todd Gazda. Wednesday will mark the third day of classes being canceled after a glitch in the heating unit released about 500 gallons of water inside the building over the weekend.

Gazda said maintenance and custodial staff determined more time is needed to prepare the building for students to return.

Wednesday’s closure will be a regular emergency closing, meaning it will not need to be made up.

“Typically, if there are multiple, sequential cancelled days, only the first day will be considered a ‘blizzard bag’ day.” 

Todd Gazda, Superintendent, LPS

Baird Middle School was closed on Monday after multiple classrooms on the first and second floor flooded on Sunday. Superintendent Gazda said the flooding was a result of a computer glitch that caused one of the blowers on the rooftop to run hot, setting off a sprinkler in the cafeteria. Ludlow fire officials arrived and determined there was no fire before turning the sprinkler off. 

“There was a computer glitch in the control panel,” Gazda explained to 22News. “And we have since updated the software in the panel through the company to make sure the glitch was repaired and will not happen again. We also fixed the sprinkler head as well.”

Superintendent Gazda said the computer glitch and the sprinkler have both been fixed and that this will not happen again. Cleanup crews worked all night to clear most of the water, but more work needs to be done to insure a safe return for students and staff. 

Students have been given an extended time to complete assignments and parents will be notified by Monday evening. 

We are optimistic that we will be able to accomplish what needs to be done to open Baird on Wednesday. I will let you know one way or the other tomorrow afternoon or evening.   

Todd Gazda, Superintendent, LPS

Through blizzard bags, students go online, so they can continue their education when school is closed, so they don’t have to make up days at the end of the school year.

The two blizzard bag days will not be counted as snow days.

22News will continue to update you on the status of the school re-opening.

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