While some students are now back in classrooms at Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute after an April 25 fire, others won’t be able to return to the facility until September.
According to a letter sent to parents, 45 of the school’s 70 classrooms were expected to be ready for use as of May 7, pending a final air-quality test. Before then, students were able to go to the building to retrieve personal belongings from lockers on May 3, and pick up revised class schedules on May 4.
As for the 25 classrooms not ready for use, the letter indicated the students who would normally occupy those learning spaces will instead take their classes at nearby Eastern Commerce.
“We are committed to maintaining the same pre-fire timetables, teachers and rooms where possible but some students and staff will learn and teach in other areas at Danforth or Eastern Commerce,” the May 2 letter stated. “While it is our goal to minimize travel between the two buildings, students should be prepared to travel between schools. To maintain safety and ensure students are able to arrive to class on time, a shuttle bus service will be available for the use of Danforth students and staff.”
Though an exact date for a full reopening of the school is not yet known, the letter, which was signed by principal Denise Martins and Superintendent Mike Gallagher, said every effort was being made to ensure that the building is returned to service as soon as possible.
“Teams are working around the clock to clean and make as many classrooms, technical classrooms and physical education areas as safe as possible for re-entry by students and staff,” it read. “However, due to significant fire, smoke and water damage, portions of the building will remain closed for at least three weeks and likely for the remainder of the school year.”
This all stems from what Toronto Police are calling an arson at the Greenwood Avenue school on April 25. Police say they received the initial call for a fire shortly after 10 a.m. that day, and had to evacuate the school. Though no staff or students were injured, one fire fighter was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries, police said. The fire was declared an arson two days after the fact. A criminal investigation is underway.
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