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Some Maine schools are temporarily closing classrooms because of damage from the cold

Several schools across the state have switched to remote learning because of water damage following the bitter cold snap this weekend.

At Boothbay Region Elementary School, classrooms will be closed for the entire week after a sprinkler system break caused major flooding and damage across an entire academic wing, with water working its way into ceilings, walls, and electrical outlets.

AOS 98 Superintendent Bob Kahler said the damage is still being assessed.

"We're making sure the building is safe. Then we'll come in, and staff will definitely want to get into their rooms to see what's salvageable and what's not," Kahler said.

Kahler said that beginning next week, the district plans to relocate students from pre-K through fifth grade to the local high school for classes. Middle and high schoolers will learn remotely.

At Oak Hill High School in Wales, Principal Marco Aliberti said that that several pipes burst over the course of the weekend, causing damage to guidance offices and science classrooms.

Aliberti said the school is closed today as custodial crews continue to work through the damage. However, he said water and heat systems are working, and he hopes to reopen shortly.

"We'll take stock here, as we keep working throughout the day, as we figure out whether to school in-person tomorrow. That's where we are in our decision-making process right now," Aliberti said.

Biddeford Middle School is also temporarily closed as officials deal with a failed booster pump in the sprinkler system.

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