Pawtucket school closes until June 3rd following ceiling - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Pawtucket school closes until June 3rd following ceiling collapse

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By: Melissa Toupin

Erica Davieu, 9, will have plenty of extra time to do her homework. The Potter Burns third grader and her classmates told to stay home from school next week as ceilings are replaced throughout the school.

Wednesday a six by ten foot section of ceiling in a basement classroom came crashing down forcing the Pawtucket school to close. Luckily no one was inside, but the incident did highlight serious safety concerns about the towns oldest school.

"They knew about this problem when my oldest child was going to that school, years prior, and they did nothing about it," said Erica's father, Dwayne.

After the ceiling caved in the schools superintendent sent in engineers to check the rest of the building. No asbestos was found, but those ceilings with a similar fastening system to the one that collapsed will be replaced. During that time school will have to shut down, and working parents will have to make other arrangements for their children.

"It hasn't been easy. I don't have family out here in Rhode Island. We just moved here," said Nicole Ferrai whose dater attends Potter Burns.

Parents are now left wondering if the classrooms are really safe. Ferrai says she is happy to keep her daughter home until she can be sure.

"Obviously education is first. However, their safety is more important," she said.

The superintendent says she is working with the Education Commissioners office to find out wether the missed days will have to be made up.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013

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