Winters Elementary School to remain closed because of arctic blast damage

This is a photo of Henry J. Winters Elementary School in Pawtucket. (WLNE)

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WLNE) — An elementary school in Pawtucket remains closed Tuesday because of arctic blast damage from over the weekend.

Lisa Benedetti-Ramzi, who’s the acting superintendent, said that Henry J. Winters Elementary School students will remain distance learning Tuesday, as the district continues to determine the “extent of damage caused by a heating coil failure over the weekend.”

Benedetti-Ramzi said the coil failure caused a pipe to burst on the third floor of the school. This was the academic wing of the building.

“Water permeated all three levels on one wing of the building and classroom space and common space were impacted,” she wrote in a letter sent to parents Monday.

The acting superintendent said they are working closely with engineers to fix this problem, so they can reopen the school as quickly as possible.

Kim Grant, the deputy chair of the Pawtucket School Committee, said they have no expected return date for students.

“It is very disappointing because it is a new school,” said Grant. “There needs to be inventory take-ins of the damage, and we want to make sure that when our students get back in the school it is as safe as possible for them.”

This past September, the newly built school opened but had a troubled start to the school year because of power outages and a fire alarm backup battery malfunction.

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