More than 400 students at Trent Elementary in the Spokane Valley missed two school days and will miss another before the melted electrical system in their building is fixed.
Students will return to Trent on Tuesday morning, but might be bused to other schools if electricity has not been restored.
“The building is in need of updating, so this was kind of a wake-up call,” said East Valley School District Superintendent Chuck Stocker.
The district’s facilities committee recommended in May that Trent, which was built in the early 1900s and remodeled in 1978, be either replaced or remodeled again.
Trent’s aging aluminum wiring overheated about 8 p.m. Wednesday, sparking a small fire, which melted the entire electrical power distribution system.
Valley firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, and no one was injured.
Crews from Rod’s Electric Inc. are working around the clock to fix the electrical system, but the school was closed Thursday and Friday and will not reopen Monday.
State law allows students to miss three days for emergencies, Stocker said, so Trent student will not have their school year extended to make up the missed days.
If the building is not ready by Tuesday, the students will be bused from Trent, with their teachers, to alternate sites.
Trent’s kindergarten classes will go to Otis Orchards Elementary. The school’s first graders will go to Skyview Elementary, and the second through fifth graders will be bused to East Valley High School.
“Seniors will graduate so that opens up classrooms,” Stocker said. EV High graduation is scheduled for Tuesday.