Plainfield students head to school in Killingly following fire

(WFSB)

Students from the Plainfield Memorial School headed back to school on Friday at a different school in Killingly.

The school was damaged by a fire two weeks ago.

Students are using the old Killingly High School as a temporary home until crews can repair the damage in Plainfield.

The building is currently the Killingly Administrative Offices on Westfield Avenue.

Friday, students were welcomed back with cheering, signs and high-fives.

"It's hard enough to go to school the first day," said Rev. Johnathan Chapman, pastor, Westfield United Church of Christ. "To go to a completely different town, to a school you've never been in before, I hope they know much they are loved even if we haven't met them yet."

Chapman said he has a tradition of welcoming new students every year in Killingly.

"And this year, because Plainfield had a devastating fire, they're coming to our town," he said. "So we decided to do it a second time and we're showing up for them!"

Chapman said they've raised money to help this school community.

"Other faith communities pitched in," he said. "Collectively, we've raised over $1,200. It's a small drop in the bucket in terms of the need that they have, but we can say here's some money, do something good with it."

Parents told Channel 3 that it's been heartwarming to see the outpouring of support.

"The community has really pulled together a lot," said Michael Broughton, a Plainfield parent. "Making all the kids feel welcome, all the very, very generous donations we got."

Memorial school principal Natasha Hutchinson said finding a new space was the easy part.

"The day of the fire, different districts reached out to us," Hutchinson said. "Our main goal was to keep our whole school community today."

She said it may be a different space, but the learning is still happening.

Repairs are expected to be complete by January with a price tag of over a million dollars.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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