By EMMA BARTLETT Bursting pipes. Two words no one likes to hear. Around 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 16, an alarm going off in the Cranston Senior Enrichment Center called the Cranston Fire Department to the premises. When they arrived, the fire department found a
Bursting pipes. Two words no one likes to hear. Around 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 16, an alarm going off in the Cranston Senior Enrichment Center called the Cranston Fire Department to the premises. When they arrived, the fire department found a water sprinkler pipe had burst in the center’s Arlington Branch Library that is attached to the enrichment center.
David Quiroa, the Assistant Director of the Cranston Department of Senior Services said the water soaked roughly 33 percent of the enrichment center’s first floor – with the water finding its way into the center’s administration wings. This area houses the Programs Division, Social Services Division and Quiroa’s office.
Because of the consecutive days of cold temperatures over the weekend followed by the weather heating up, the water sprinkler pipe burst. The alarm did not trigger until a low-pressure warning informed the fire department that something was up.
For now, the administration wing will relocate to the second floor and use a room that is primarily designated as a theater. Quiroa said this location has ample room for employees to social distance.
The Senior Center has canceled Tuesday and Wednesday activities to prevent foot traffic while they clean up the damage. They will continue to evaluate the situation to determine when they reopen their activities to seniors. While programs may be down, the center’s dining room is offering bagged lunches for seniors, which they were doing at the start of the pandemic.
Quiroa said the rugs will definitely need to be replaced and any parts of the wall that was compromised from the pipe burst will be removed and replaced with new dry wall. The air will also be filtered to ensure there is no mold.
“The real hit is the library,” said Quiroa.
He mentioned half the library’s books and movies damaged. The burst pipe was located on the right side of the library entering from the Arlington Branch from inside the Cranston Senior Enrichment Center.
Ed Garcia, the Director of the Cranston Public Library said that the library has insurance on all of their locations and collections. He mentioned that the library would need new carpeting and replacements for the books and movies affected. Garcia said it looks like the adult fiction books were damaged as well as some of the library’s computers.
As of Tuesday the situation is ongoing and both the Arlington Branch and Cranston Senior Enrichment Center were waiting for an assessor to come in and inspect the damage cost.
Cranston Public Library’s Arlington Branch will be closed indefinitely. Garcia said anyone looking to return library materials could bring items to one of the library’s five other locations. This includes the Auburn Branch on Pontiac Ave., Central Library on Sockanosset Cross Rd., Knightsville Branch on Cranston St., Oaklawn Branch on Wilbur Ave. or William Hall Library on Broad St. Additionally, any books on hold can be picked up at the Central Library. Cranston Public Library will continue to update patrons via their website: www.cranstonlibrary.org/arlington-closure.
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