Helene Grant To Remain Closed Through Wednesday

Officials announced that Helene Grant School will be closed an additional day—Wednesday—while they prepare a new temporary home for the students and teachers.

The school district sent out a release Sunday night announcing that the Goffe Street building will be closed on Monday and Tuesday because of “elevated levels” of an unspecified “material” discovered during some preconstruction work.

Monday night the district announced that the closing will remain through Wednesday—and that they’ve decided on a new location for the school once it reopens: the former Amistad Academy space at 560 Ella Grasso Blvd.

The Goffe Street School building was already slated to be demolished this coming summer and the school body relocated to a new site.

Now, because of the discovery, the district will is speeding up the time table.

Schools Chief Operating Officer Will Clark said officials are taking a “conservative approach” to protect the health of staff and students.

The district was conducting pre-demolition tests on the 40-plus-year-old building, Clark said. The tests determine what kind of disposal process the district will use once demolition begins.

As with most cement buildings that age, the tests turned up heightened levels of adhesives leaking into cinderblock, he said. The district could put money into patching up the school for the short term. But officials decided “why even mess with it? We’re going to knock it down anyway. Why not accelerate the demolition process?” Clark said. The district is already in the process of preparing vacant swing space.

Schools spokeswoman Abbe Smith released the following statement Sunday night:

“Helene Grant School will be closed Monday, February 4, and Tuesday, February 5. The school will be closed as a safety precaution after pre-construction work on the building uncovered common, but elevated levels of a material that requires the district to take action. Helene Grant is slated for demolition this summer to make way for construction of a new facility as part of the district’s School Construction Program.

“Helene Grant School will be relocated to its temporary home a little earlier than planned until the new school is completed in 2015. More information will be provided to parents on Monday, including the new location of the school when students return Wednesday.”

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