Students Not Likely to Return to Crocker This Year
FITCHBURG -- Third- and fourth-grade Crocker Elementary School students will likely not return to their school building this year because repairs are not yet complete, said Superintendent Bob Jokela.
At Monday’s School Committee meeting, Jokela reported that vents for the school’s heating and air system are set to ship from the factory between today and next Tuesday, but added that there have been delays because the manufacturer changed plants.
“Pardon me for being a little reluctant to say when they will be here, but I’ve learned over the last six months that nothing happens on time,” he told the committee. “I just don’t know if (the move) is going to happen at this point.”
Crocker closed for 3 1/2 months last year after a steam pipe burst and workers repairing the system inadvertently disturbed asbestos. The school reopened in the spring, but some third- and fourth-grade teachers requested to stay at temporary locations.
Jokela said that a couple hundred of third- and fourth-graders have been attending class at the former St. Anthony School.
The school district and city are working on building a new Crocker Elementary School. Crocker’s building committee has been working with Boston-based firm Saam Architecture to design a new school building.
In other business, the School Committee approved grants and uses for school-choice money.
Members accepted a $572,000 grant for the current fiscal year to support students who were displaced by hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“It really came up as a surprise,” Jokela said about the amount. “That was great news to find out last week.”
The committee will apply for a $80,000 Safer schools and Communities Grant to install external doors and locking systems at Crocker and Longsjo Middle School.
It also approved Jokela’s recommendation to invest about $13,000 from school choice funds for a school security assessment through the Fitchburg Police Department.
The money will be used with a $50,000 grant the Police Department received to hire a third-party firm to complete the security analysis. Bids for the project have gone out through the city.
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