NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - While most New Rochelle students returned from holiday break on Monday, elementary students at Webster were forced to wait an additional day as teachers settled in following emergency repairs.
In September, students, parents and faculty members at the Daniel Webster Elementary School were informed that they would be displaced for two semesters following the collapse of a portion of ceiling in a classroom, forcing district officials to scramble and set up a temporary home at Holy Family Elementary for a few months.
At long last, after several months of feverish construction, the infrastructure problems at the school have been dealt with, and Webster will kick off 2016 by opening its doors once more on Tuesday - for the first time this academic year - featuring several completely renovated classrooms.
According to New Rochelle Schools Superintendent Brian Osborne, “the age of the ceiling, and weight, along with some water damage from roof leaks and water penetration through the mortar over the years caused the system to progressively fail.” As a result of the collapse, contractors underwent an extensive inspection process of infrastructure districtwide.
The school passed a thorough structural inspection and received a certificate of occupancy just days before Christmas. Air quality tests all came back indicating the school is free of contaminants and the Fire Marshall’s inspection was completed on Dec. 30, with a final walkthrough on Monday.
With the classrooms renovated and ready to once again host New Rochelle students, faculty members at Webster were busy on Monday - while their peers returned to work - making themselves “at home” and preparing their classrooms.
“Teachers are eagerly and enthusiastically preparing for (Tuesday’s) school re-opening, when students will come ‘home’ to learn again at Webster,” school officials posted on Facebook. “Excited parents have had the opportunity to tour the school with Principal Melissa Passarrelli and view the beautifully renovated classrooms.”
On Monday, Passarrelli expressed optimism as the students and staff get set to return to Webster.
“I cannot wait to see the bright smiles on the faces of our children as they enter Webster on Tuesday, “she said. “It will be their first day of school all over again.”
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