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Burst Pipes at Toll Gate Cancels Monday Classes, School Committee Moved to Wednesday

Tollgate High School, pictured in a file photo from August 2015.
Tollgate High School, pictured in a file photo from August 2015.

UPDATE: Classes are continuing at Toll Gate High as normal this morning, Superintendent Phil Thornton reports.

Thornton said aging infrastructure in the school building caused the water pipe bursts. First, the heating system in the auditorium failed. The roof-top system is original to the auditorium construction in 1992, 26 years old, he said.

“The gas-fired rooftop system failed and allowed cold air into the building. We then had the sprinkler system freeze, popping the sprinkler heads and also triggering our alarm system,” Thornton said.
Then, he said, the baseboard heating, dating to 1972, also failed in two adjacent areas to the auditorium.

WARWICK, RI — Burst pipes cancelled classes for Toll Gate High School students Monday afternoon and have also spurred the rescheduling of Tuesday’s Warwick School Committee meeting, which normally meets in the building’s auditorium.

According to student accounts on Facebook, a pipe burst in the morning, and as facilities crews worked to fix it, another pipe burst. Students were moved from Toll Gate to the Winman Junior High School auditorium during repairs, and were later sent home from classes.

According to a message sent to parents at 6 p.m. from Warwick Public Schools, the Warwick School Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday night in Toll Gate’s auditorium has been moved to Wednesday at Warwick Veterans Middle School, witht an executive session starting at 6 p.m. and the public session following.

According to the message, the move was, “Due to State regulations and the water pipe break at Toll Gate High.”

There was no immediate word on whether classes would resume Wednesday. The RI Broadcaster’s Association, which alerts the public to weather-related school, government and service closings, did not list Toll Gate among the facilities closed Wednesday as of 10 p.m. Monday.



Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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