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Newport’s Richards Elementary Closed for Classes Tomorrow After Frozen Sprinkler Pipe Floods Portion of School

Newport — Classes at Richards Elementary are canceled for tomorrow after a burst sprinkler pipe caused substantial water damage to the library and main offices.

Newport Fire Chief Wayne Conroy said an fire alarm was activated at 2:14 p.m. yesterday and it took 20 minutes for firefighters to locate and shut off water to the burst pipe. The flooding started on the third floor, which is the attic of the school.

Automated notification calls went out to parents last evening to inform parents, said Gordon Flint Jr., chairman of the Newport School Board.

Flint said the district is uncertain if classes will resume Tuesday, and that parents will be notified by phone tomorrow afternoon on the status of the classes.

“We will be evaluating the situation and making sure the premises are safe for the children to return,” Flint Jr. said.

Faculty and staff will report to the school tomorrow, said Superintendent Irwin Sussman. Other schools in the district will hold classes as usual.