Norwich students head back to class after fire - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Norwich students head back to class after fire


Students in Norwich are heading back to class Tuesday after a fire set off the sprinkler system inside the Kelly Middle School and caused some expensive damage.

As students head back to class, a number of rooms inside the school will remain off limits.

School officials believe a computer is to blame for Monday's early morning fire. The flames triggered the sprinkler system inside the new $40 million science wing - flooding 20 rooms throughout the school, heavily damaging a dozen of them.

Those 12 rooms will remain closed as crews continue to clean up.

That means for now, about a third of the students at the middle school, roughly 220, will be temporarily housed in smaller classrooms and makeshift classrooms.

"It's not an ideal situation," said principal William Peckrul. "Obviously using a community room as a classroom is not ideal, but we'll make it work."

All the water didn't just do a number on the rooms, but it also damaged some of the testing materials for the Connecticut Mastery Tests. New booklets are being sent to the school, but instead of starting testing Tuesday, seventh graders will have to wait until Wednesday.

"We have testing right now, so this messes up our whole entire schedule," said student Christine White.

As for the cleanup, there is no time frame as to when students will be able to get back into those 12 classrooms, but the superintendent said she expects the cost to run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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