Roosevelt HS heat back on; maintenance contractor blamed
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent January 28, 2013 4:22PM
Kenny Smith, superintendent of operations for Gary Schools and Cordie Moore, assistant to the superintendent check the temperature levels with a infrared thermometer in a classroom at Roosevelt College and Career Academy Monday afternoon. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 2, 2013 6:13AM
GARY — School corporation workers on Monday were taking the temperature in every classroom at Roosevelt College and Career Academy to ensure there was adequate heat in the building for classes to resume.
Cheryl Pruitt, Gary Community School Corp. superintendent, said her staff was working at the school again on Monday to repair everything and show the independent contractor hired by turnaround operator EdisonLearning Inc. how to maintain the school’s heating system.
“We will have a designated person over here for the rest of the week to try to train them on what to do so this won’t keep happening,” Pruitt said.
She said the heaters were working last week, but the maintenance contractor did not fill the boiler properly and the pipes burst. The contractor was hired in November after the staff maintenance person familiar with the boilers resigned. The damage after the heater was fixed is the responsibility of EdisonLearning, she said.
On Friday a Marion County judge issued a restraining order calling for the school corporation to make the necessary repairs by Monday and clean up the water damage at its expense after EdisonLearning canceled classes at Roosevelt for three days. Classes were suspended on Monday as well. It was unclear late Monday if the school will open Tuesday.
No one from Roosevelt College and Career Academy could be reached. A message at the school said classes are canceled on Monday and parents will be alerted as more information becomes available. Pruitt said she does not know when Roosevelt will reopen.
“That is up to EdisonLearning,” she said.
Pruitt said if the school was still under control of the school corporation it would never have closed. She blamed the boiler malfunction on the maintenance of the equipment, which is not the responsibility of the school corporation.
She said after the boiler was fixed last week school district officials did not check the temperature in every room. On Monday workers were checking temperatures in all rooms, including the unused third floor. Pruitt said if a classroom does not have the correct heat, it is possible to move students to another classroom that does. It is a practice that is common in schools, she said.