‘Hopefully, we don’t have anymore issues’: Students return to Winters Elementary in Pawtucket

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WLNE) – It’s been a rocky road, but the troubled Henry J. Winters Elementary School in Pawtucket reopened Friday.

The school first closed in early February after a heating coil failed that led to water damage to numerous classrooms. Students have been remote learning, as they have for most of February.

“We’ve done the best that we can with virtual learning — that’s quite the challenge. Having a kindergartener, trying to get them to be — obviously we’re not teachers, so we do the best we can to help,” said Jeremiah Jaffrey, a parent.

This was just the latest in a series of problems at the new $50 million school.

On Feb. 26, school committee members closed Winters Elementary School “until further notice after another heating coil failed.

Winters Elementary was set to reopen Monday after students missed two weeks of in-person learning and were set to return from winter break.

This weekend’s damage, the school said, is less severe but is the latest in a number of issues with the brand new elementary school that just opened last September.

The start of school delayed six days back in September following a failed fire alarm battery test during final inspections of the new school. Then, during the arctic blast that brought negative wind chill temperatures, a burst heating coil caused 23 classrooms to suffer severe water damage.

The latest in the ongoing problem with the school — another pipe burst shooting out hot water at about 135 degrees.

Friday, parents spoke with ABC 6 News about their children finally returning to the classroom.

“It’s been a challenge, we but looking forward to getting back to school here. Hopefully, with winter coming to an end, we don’t have anymore issues,” said Jaffrey.

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