MAHONING COUNTY Boiler system problems keep 2 schools closed for a day

YOUNGSTOWN -- Two Mahoning County schools were cold and empty today as pupils stayed home because of boiler system problems.
Officials in the Youngstown city schools searched for a letter regarding The Rayen School this morning, and school officials in Poland waited for a contractor to work out a kink in the boiler system at Dobbins Elementary School.
Tony DeNiro Jr., the Youngstown district's executive director of school business affairs, learned this morning that the city had sent the district a letter regarding a waterline leak in front of the school.
The letter said that water was subject to being turned off, said Gene Leson, chief engineer at the city water department.
The water leak is on a private line, and it is the school district's responsibility to fix it, Leson said. The district was notified Feb. 4 that the city might turn off the water supply.
Leson said the city kept water running as long as possible but was forced to turn it off Sunday because the road was caving in.
DeNiro said the letter never made its way to the district's chief of maintenance and administrators were unaware that water would be turned off.
Without water, the building's boiler system does not work and there is no heat. A custodian had discovered the water off at about 6 a.m., DeNiro said.
In Poland, an emergency alarm system alerted officials to the Dobbins boiler problem Monday afternoon, said Dr. Robert Zorn, superintendent.
The boiler experienced a "flame-out," Zorn said, and technicians from Johnson Controls worked until about 10 p.m. Monday but could not get the flame to stay fired.
A new crew from Johnson Controls was working at the school late this morning.

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