Insurance company going after builder for $400k spent after '09 flood at GMS

GILFORD — The School District's insurance company has sued the Keene-based construction company which built the Middle School for the $400,000 claim paid in the wake of a failure of the priming portion of the sprinkler system in March of 2009.

Primex claims that The MacMillin Company of Keene or one of its subcontractors installed plastic fittings in the primary sprinkler pumping system rather that the metal ones called for by the architect.

One of the plastic fittings burst, causing water to cascade down from the second floor mechanical room into the computer labs beneath it.

The Middle School was shut down for the better part of 10 days although much of that time was during winter vacation. The flood was noticed by a teacher who came to the school over the first weekend of winter vacation to feed a turtle that was part of a middle school science project. She notice two inches of water on the floor and notified authorities.

Primex asserts there was no construction change order — although 30 changes orders were recorded during the duration of the project — that allowed for the switch from brass to plastic.

The sprinkler system was just one piece of a $17.4 million project that funded the construction of the Middle School and the renovation of the adjacent High School.

The voters approved the project at the annual School District meeting in March of 2002. Students began using the Middle School in September of 2003 while the renovation at the high school was finished by September of 2004.

Prior to the time, post elementary school students shared what was for decades called Gilford Middle High School.

The court case was filed by Primex against The MacMillin Company in 2011 in Belknap County Superior Court. Yesterday, Judge James O'Neill heard motions for summary judgement and will determine whether or not there are any legal issues that can be adjudicated.