UPDATED: East Providence cancels in-person classes at high school due to water leak

Students will distance learn for remainder of the week, return to building on October 26

By Mike Rego
Posted 10/19/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — District personnel were contending with a water leak at East Providence High School Monday morning, Oct. 19, topping out at a foot in spots, according to Superintendent …

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UPDATED: East Providence cancels in-person classes at high school due to water leak

Students will distance learn for remainder of the week, return to building on October 26

Posted

(Updated, October 19, 6:30 p.m.) EAST PROVIDENCE — District personnel were contending with a water leak at East Providence High School Monday morning, Oct. 19, topping out at a foot in spots, according to Superintendent Kathryn Crowley.

The location of the leak was in the rear of the existing almost 70-year-old building, near the gymnasium and former pool. The superintendent said members of the Facilities Department were still trying to determine the exact cause of the leak, though it could be due to the heavy rains late last week. The spot is one of the locations being used as a staging area for construction of the new $189.5 million high school where trailers and heavy equipment may have factored into the situation.

The superintendent said officials were awaiting a mid-morning assessment by the district’s insurer to determine the next course of action.

Superintendent Crowley added it was fortunate no one was in the building. Monday was a prescheduled professional development day for teachers, who were going through those paces virtually.

As of the aforementioned inspection later Monday, the superintendent said water was still being pumped out of the location as of about 6:30 p.m.

Again, the cause of the leak was still unknown, though Facilities personnel were leaning towards it being ground water encroaching. Of note as well, the school's elevator shaft was flooded. The water was rising in a spot where commercial tool oil was once housed, causing another concern. The superintendent said the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management had given the district permission to suction oil off from the leak.

Taking all that into account, Superintendent Crowley has canceled in-person classes for the remainder of the week through Friday, Oct. 23. All students will take instruction through the district's distance learning program.

In-building attendance will resume as usually scheduled on Monday, Oct. 26.

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