Home News Local news STUDENTS TO RETURN TO ELENA CHRISTIAN TUESDAY

STUDENTS TO RETURN TO ELENA CHRISTIAN TUESDAY

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Education Commissioner Ruby Simmonds said Sunday she believed it was safe for students at the Elena Christian Junior High School to return to school.
"After receiving reports from private engineers who inspected the structure of the Elena Christian Junior High School, I am satisfied that the structural integrity of the facility has not been compromised," the commissioner said in a release.
Simmonds said the classrooms that had been widely reported as structurally unsafe would remain closed until repairs were completed.
Faculty and staff were asked to return to the school Monday to prepare for students, who are to return Tuesday.
All schools on St. Croix were shut down from the time Hurricane Lenny hit the territory until the Monday after Thanksgiving. The problems at Elena Christian began when, as classes were slated to resume, a licensed engineer said the school was unsafe.
The day after the first report Terence Joseph, insular superintendent, said two private teams of structural engineers had determined that the original assessment had errors and classes were scheduled to start again last Thursday.
Teacher protests following the announcement, however, caused Simmonds to shut down the school indefinitely last week.
On Sunday, Simmonds quoted professionals from the firm of Antillean Engineers Inc. as saying that "the structural integrity of the building has not been compromised by the distress which was observed."
An independent engineer who inspected the school at the request of Sen. Norman JnBaptiste, Education chair, also found no structural damage, according to Simmonds.

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