Update: Rebuilding efforts for a South County school destroyed by fire

South County

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — On July 29th, 2018 the Meadowbrook Waldorf School, a private school in Richmond burnt to the ground.

As previously reported on Eyewitness News and WPRI.com, investigators believe the fire was likely caused by a lightning strike.

Saturday afternoon the school hosted its annual ‘Magical Holiday Faire‘ at their temporary location in South Kingstown on South Road.

“It’s lovely to be able to put on this celebration of childhood,” said Beth Riungu.

Beth Riungu is the development coordinator for the school.

She told Eyewitness News this event allows the school to give back to the South Kingstown community.

“It also helps to raise funds for the programs here,” she said.

“It goes to support the education — teachers salary — we have a tuition adjustment program to support families who need that extra help to come to an independent school.”

Behind the scenes and a few miles down the road is the ongoing rebuilding efforts of the new school.

Christine Chu told Eyewitness News they are excited to return to their beloved campus. She is a Meadowbrook Waldorf parent and school trustee.

“It’s a beautiful campus with over 20-acres of woods,” said Chu. “You are in nature and you just see the vision for the new school is going to be.”

Meadowbrook Rising is the name of the ongoing campaign to rebuild the school.

Walking the hallway of their temporary facility families and visitors stopped to see the design of the new facility.

The foundation for the new school is already being installed according to Beth Riungu.

In order to finish rebuilding the school $2-million needed to be fundraised according to Beth Riungu.

“Which for our little community it’s a lot of money. We are really pleased we are over a million, we’ve started rebuilding, we have the contractors on-site — they are pouring the foundation — the walls [prefabricated] are there ready to go up,” said Riungu.

Bills are coming in and Beth Riungu says the pressure is on to raise the final $900,000.


If construction goes smoothly over the course of the winter students should be returning to their new school as early as the spring of 2020.

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