YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Both Grafton Middle School and Grafton High School will be closed through Friday due to extensive damage caused by an electrical fire Monday.
The York County School Division announced the closure Tuesday afternoon, and said it currently has no estimation for when the complex will reopen.
“Due to the extensive electrical damage caused by yesterday’s fire, the division does not have an anticipated date for re-opening the Complex at this time. Staff are working to address both short-term and long-term instructional and facility needs,” the division said.
No activities will be held at the Grafton Complex this weekend.
The division originally said it would be closed Tuesday and Wednesday. According to the York County Fire Department, they were called to the facility at 403 Grafton Drive around 3:45 p.m. Monday and arrived to find heavy smoke and fire in an equipment room.
“It’s an ongoing investigation. We haven’t determined the specific reason for the fire itself although we obviously know it appears to have started in the electrical panel,” said York County Fire Chief Stephen, Kopczynski.
Kopczynski says the utility room where that panel is located is at the end of a corridor adjacent to one of the gyms on the middle school side.
10 On Your Side wasn’t allowed around the back of the school for a closer look, but Kopczynski says there was minimal structural damage.
However, the entire electrical system for the whole building is out now and they’re trying to figure out what they need to do to fix it.
He also says while most the smoke was on the middle school side, some did leak into the high school.
He says they were able to keep a lot of the smoke damage from spreading by closing doors quickly.
Overall, he says it could’ve been a lot worse.
“Fortunately the entire building is protected by a fire sprinkler system that held the fire in check. If that had not been the case, the fire would have spread much worse throughout the complex,” Kopczynski explained.
Information about transportion options for students who participate in half-day, off-campus instruction programs such as the Governor’s School, New Horizons, SOA and NJROTC, has been provided as an attachment to an email sent to families.
Students who are involved in extracurricular activities will be contacted directly by their coach or program sponsor.
“We understand the difficulties this interruption to the school year poses to our families, students and staff, and we want to assure you that it is our goal to return students and staff to a daily schedule as soon as possible. Division staff are working on a long-term plan, which will be shared later this week,” the division said.
Those who have questions regarding their child’s school should contact one of the following email addresses: email@example.com for the high school and firstname.lastname@example.org for the middle school.
A help page, Grafton Complex Status Reports, is now on the division website and will be updated regularly.