WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Parents and students from St. Kevin School were able to get their first look at their new temporary home Tuesday as their building undergoes repairs following a water pipe break more than a week ago.
Students will be starting classes Wednesday at the former Randall Holden Elementary School after having more than a week off.
The St. Kevin building sustained serious water damage due to a plumbing issue that happened over Thanksgiving break. The temporary location is only a five-minute drive away from St. Kevin School.
Father Robert Marciano provided a tour for both parents and students Tuesday night as part of an open house.
“We had other options, Bishop Hendricken, Knights of Columbus, Boys and Girls Club, nothing was going to fit as good as this,” he said.
Randall Holden Elementary closed as part of school consolidations at the end of last year. Marciano said among the options, this was the perfect fit.
“They had desks for storage, they had boxes in here, it was a school that was just used for storage and so this crew got in here Friday and Saturday after we saw it Thursday and went through it like gangbusters,” Marciano said.
Parents, teachers and volunteers have been working around the clock the past couple of days to make sure the classrooms are ready for the students’ return to school.
“They said, ‘We’re going to have two first days of school,’ they thought that was pretty special,” St. Kevin School teacher Mary Ann McKenney said.
For now, students and faculty are making the best of the new space while repairs are being made to St. Kevin’s.
“There’s a lot of history, so the water damage is more than just damaging the building, it really affects their lives,” said Father Marciano. “We adjust, we move on, and we’ll be back and when we’re back, we’ll be in a new school, brand new place.”
Marciano said it’s unclear at this point in time how long they will be at Randall Holden, or how long repairing the St. Kevin School building will take. He said that can be anywhere from a couple of weeks, to a couple of months.