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Roosevelt High School

Emergency manager will give update on Roosevelt

Contributed By:The 411 News

Expected to announce building will not reopen as an educational institution

It was only one day after Indiana’s State Board of Education voted on January 15th to end the state intervention at Gary’s Theodore Roosevelt College and Career Academy, that another shoe dropped at the Distressed Unit Appeal Board, the other state agency involved with the school’s operation.

The DUAB heard an update from the Gary school district’s emergency manager on the status of Roosevelt’s building with a recommendation of shuttering the building on West 25th Avenue.

Roosevelt has been closed to students since February 2019 when a polar vortex knocked out the school’s heating system, leading to busted pipes and flooding.

A year later, Roosevelt students are still housed at the Gary Area Career Center.

The emergency manager will hold a public meeting at 6p.m. Tuesday, February 4th at the Career Center and talk about the school’s future.

According to the press release issued by the emergency manager, information will be presented on the condition of the Roosevelt building before and after February 2019; damage to the building in February 2019; and an initial estimated cost to repair the building.

Those same items were presented at January’s DUAB meeting and at the emergency manager’s July 2019 public meeting in Gary.

The initial estimated cost to repair the building was a minimum of $10 million, said Eric Parish, a member of the MGT Consulting team that oversees the Gary school district which is under state control. Parish said that cost did not include remediating air quality and environmental hazards like asbestos “because we don’t know what’s behind those walls.”

A second estimated cost to repair Roosevelt was $9.5 million to $15 million. Parish told the DUAB the Gary school district did not have money for those repairs.

As a result of those costs, Parish said the district did not recommend using the building in the future for “educating children or adults.”

Parish said the emergency manager will preserve and protect the Roosevelt building.

Story Posted:01/30/2020

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