Flooding closes St. Mary’s Institute in Amsterdam

Roughly 200 children will get a day off from school today as volunteers and contractors work to dry

Roughly 200 children will get a day off from school today as volunteers and contractors work to dry out Saint Mary’s Institute following a weekend pipe break.

School Principal Giovanni Virgiglio Jr. said a security check of video surveillance revealed water gushing out the front door of the building on Sunday morning.

Officials believe an as-yet unidentified water main inside the building sprang a leak sometime Saturday evening, he said.

Virgiglio said the first floor suffered substantial flood damage from ankle-deep water “from one end of the building to another.” He didn’t have a cost estimate on the damage.

The water is clean, chlorinated water supplied by the city of Amsterdam, so contamination is not a concern, he said.

Several trucks from First Response Restoration were on the scene Monday as carpeting slung over classroom chairs dried in the sun. A host of volunteers joined contractors Sunday, pulling soggy carpet and other items out of affected rooms and working to dry out the school.

“We wouldn’t be in the position we are in today” if it weren’t for volunteers, including students, parents and staff, he said.

More volunteers are sought to help get the kids back to school as soon as possible, Virgiglio said.

A new wing built on the campus in the 1990s was unaffected by the internal flood and the school is working to establish classes in that section.

“We are very fortunate that we have a very large campus,” Virgiglio said.

Once situated on East Main Street in the city, the Roman Catholic school — in operation since 1880 — moved into the former Bishop Scully High School campus off Church Street in the 1990s.

It serves roughly 215 pupils from pre-k through eighth grade.

Virgiglio said school officials are monitoring progress of the cleanup and expect to announce the school’s re-opening plans to parents through its notification system.

Categories: Schenectady County

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