School officials announced yesterday that classes couldn’t be held at Park View Elementary, which suffered severe roof damage during the storm, and that students will have to attend school at RJO Intermediate and the San Remo administrating building.
Kindergarten, first and second graders will be housed in the school's adminstration building in San Remo and third graders will be at RJO. That building houses district administration personnel as well as New Beginnings Child Care.
The district has been told by its engineering firm, H2M, that they should expect to be back in the building in early December, though officials believe it is more likely to be early January.
Susan Agruso, district superintendent, told parents who gathered Thursday at a special meeting held at the high school that kids will have their same teachers and classmates.
“Things will remain the same, we’re just going to change buildings,” she said. Agruso said classrooms in Park View are being emptied one at a time. “Desks are being moved teachers will have all of their stuff.”
Students will have their usual special classes such as art and music. The San Remo building does not have a working cafeteria, but the district is working on providing a boxed lunch for students and children will eat in their classrooms. Students at RJO can purchase and eat lunch in the school cafeteria.
Students should bring their lunch on the first day back. Food in all schools has been thrown out due to the lack of refrigeration and administration is working with their vendors to begin supplying food again.
Students will be picked up and dropped off at their same stops and class start times will not change.
“We want as little stress as possible,” said Agruso.
Before school programs will remain as scheduled, though Agruso said there will be no before school programs the first week back.
Damage at Park View
Phil Kenter, assistant superintendent for finance has been working with a team of people to get classrooms ready for students. Kenter said in a conversation before the meeting that the wind during the storm had come under the roof and lifted it off. There was no other damage at the school and no one was hurt.
All classrooms on the second floor and hallway have water damage as well as the first floor hallway.
“The floor of the gym is so heavily shellacked we do not believe it will need replacement,” said Agruso.
Computers at the library got wet, but books did not. The cafeteria and computer lab “is fine,” said Agruso.
Abatement has begun at the damaged school, which Agruso said is not currently safe. “It is a construction site and cannot be entered. No staff in the building,” she said.
Crews are in the process of removing water, sorting items and moving everything out of the classrooms. Anything that is not porous, such as desks will be sanitized and reused. Porous items such as paper and clothing will be discarded.
A new roof has already been approved and Agruso said the state has been notified. A temporary roof was put on the building on Thursday. Agruso met with Park View staff on Thursday to inform them of the changes.
Agruso said at the meeting that the next steps will be to continue to monitor and test for environmental hazards, replace the roof and restore the building. According to Agruso, the district’s insurance company will pay for the clean up costs and restoration directly. “There should be no financial impact to the district,” said Agruso.
Agruso is hopeful school will be open on Monday.