DPS: Swansea Elementary closed until at least Friday following fire


DENVER — Swansea Elementary School in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood will be closed until at least Friday following a fire, Denver Public Schools said Wednesday.

DPS spokesperson Will Jones says about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, an Xcel Energy transformer failed. When it was repaired and reconnected, there was a spike in electricity that caused a complete power outage and the fire.

No one was injured in the fire. However, it caused significant damage to ceilings, carpeting and the school’s kitchen. Some of the carpet and ceiling will need to be cleaned or replaced.

Additionally, electricians will be checking electrical panels throughout the school.

Staff will also need to ensure the kitchen is usable before classes resume.

Swansea Elementary Principal Gilberto Muñoz sent the following letter to families about the fire:

We wanted to provide you an update on the status of our school building. At approximately 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, an Xcel Energy transformer failed. When it was repaired and reconnected a spike in the electricity severely damaged our system. It caused a complete electrical outage at our school and required the cancellation of class today. We know the unexpected cancellation of classes causes a hardship for families, and we appreciate your patience and understanding.

Our Facilities Team has been working since early this morning to assess the damage and make the repairs necessary to get the school safe and ready for staff and students. We now know that the damage is severe enough that Swansea will remain closed on Thursday and Friday to complete the necessary repair work.

We are working hard to make sure that repairs happen as quickly as possible so that students can return to school. A generator has been delivered to the school, which will eventually allow us to run our boiler, heaters and fire alarms. Some classrooms have damaged ceiling tiles and carpeting, which will need to be cleaned or replaced. Electricians are checking panels and circuits throughout the school to ensure that all operations are safe before students return to the building. There is also work that needs to be done to the school’s kitchen. We are working to ensure it’s fully functional and able to provide meals when school reopens.

We will continue to provide you with updates as we learn more information about when Swansea will reopen.

Please be assured that the safety and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority. All measures are being taken to allow our community to return as quickly as possible to a safe and functional school.

Thank you again for your support and patience as we work to get the school reopened as quickly as possible, while ensuring it’s safe for our students and staff.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. You may also contact the Family and Community Helpline at 720-423-3054.

On Thursday, Muñoz said daycare will be available Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Garden Place Academy: 4425 Lincoln St., Denver, 80216.

“Our Swansea teachers will be on site to welcome and supervise students who choose to come. Breakfast and lunch will be served to students. Students are not required to attend if families have made other arrangements for tomorrow,” Muñoz said.

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