New Bridge Learning Center
Henrico school closed until next week due to fire, water damage.
The New Bridge Learning Center in eastern Henrico County, which closed Thursday after an early-morning fire, is not expected to reopen until early next week.
Classes were canceled for Thursday and today at the center, where 106 prekindergarten students attend daily, said Andy Jenks, a spokesman for Henrico Public Schools.
“My understanding is that it is primarily water damage from the sprinkler system,” Jenks said. “The fire itself was relatively small.”
The displaced pre-K students are being cared for at home, Jenks said. With Monday being the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, the school is not expected to reopen until Tuesday, he said.
A small number of elementary school students from around the Henrico school system attend an intervention program also housed at the center that provides behavioral and academic support, Jenks said. Those pupils can attend their regular elementary school while New Bridge is closed.
Fire crews were called shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday to the school in the 5900 block of Nine Mile Road, said Capt. Taylor Goodman of the Henrico Division of Fire.
The blaze began in a classroom area on the second floor, Jenks said.
The fire was brought under control in about an hour, Goodman said. The center’s sprinkler system was operating as it should, and it helped keep the fire in check until firefighters knocked out the blaze, he said.
The school was closed at the time, and there were no injuries, Goodman said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, officials said.
A burst water pipe was discovered while firefighters were searching the building for possible victims, Goodman said. Fire and school officials could not say what caused the pipe to burst.
Crews will clean up the smoke and water damage while the building is closed, Jenks said.
“There was an odor of smoke that lingers today, but by next week, we would expect that to be gone,” Jenks said Thursday.
A School Board work session was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the center’s auditorium, but that meeting was moved across the county to the Board of Supervisors meeting room on East Parham Road.