“This is the beginning of our recovery.
We may have lost some buildings, but we have not lost our spirit!,” said
Rick Bulger, the Associate Director of Valley View School in a letter to
parents of students.
On Friday, October 25, 2013, a
devastating fire broke out around 7:00 pm which severely damaged a major
dormitory, student lounges, kitchen and dining hall-theatre on campus.
The academic facilities, gymnasium and other dormitories were not
affected. Luckily, there were no student or faculty injuries and
everyone was accounted for, however, while everyone was physically safe,
there laid several daunting tasks ahead of them – how to 1) keep the
school operating with limited interruption 2) continue to educate and
inform the unique student body and 3) rebuild their beloved campus
buildings to their original historic splendor in the shortest amount of
According to the website, Valley View
School is a small, private boarding school that provides a year-round
therapeutic environment for boys between the ages of 11 and 16. Located
a mile and a half from the rural, central Massachusetts town of North
Brookfield, Valley View School provides an ideal setting for
experiencing a wide variety of wholesome and stimulating activities. The
school prides itself in offering a comprehensive program integrating a
range of services: educational, psychotherapeutic, medical and
recreational, in order to allow each student to reach his greatest
Once the smoke cleared and the North
Brookfield Fire Department crews declared the fire under control, it was
time for BELFOR, New England’s premiere damage restoration company to
get to work. The project would have two main phases: first the
restoration and second the ground-up (or “hill-up”) reconstruction.
School started again the
very next Monday although some adjustments had to be made. Valley View
School was able to find temporary housing at a nearby school for the
boys whom were misplaced by the fire. The temporary kitchen was housed
in the gymnasium and was still able to produce three meals each day! The
fire inspector handled the investigation and the demolition of the
fire-damage dormitory could commence.