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More heat woes at Roosevelt

ElizGonzalez alternative educaticoordinator Roosevelt College Career Academy bundles up Tuesday school's Community Room. The school operated by EdisonLearning Inc. experienced

Eliza Gonzalez, alternative education coordinator at the Roosevelt College and Career Academy, bundles up Tuesday in the school's Community Room. The school, operated by EdisonLearning Inc., experienced a lack of heat in several classrooms. | Carole Carlson/Post-Tribune

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Updated: January 12, 2014 6:30AM



GARY — Students were relocated from some classrooms at the Roosevelt College and Career Academy on Tuesday because of a lack of heat.

EdisonLearning Inc., a private education management company, operates the school, but the Gary School Board still hasn’t signed off on a state-negotiated operating agreement. EdisonLearning has signed the pact, but the school district owns the school.

As the outside temperature dropped into the low 20s, Vanessa Ronketto, Roosevelt’s superintendent, said seven classrooms had temperatures in the 50s or high 40s inside the school. She said the state code calls for classroom temperatures to be at least 68 degrees.

“We’re moving students as much as we can,” Ronketto said. “Generally speaking, no preventative maintenance has been done.”

Charmella Greer, spokeswoman for the school district, said a maintenance crew was dispatched to Roosevelt on Tuesday afternoon.

“There’s no problem with the boiler, but crews went out there because of the weather,” Greer said. “They’re making sure all the outside air adapters are shut because if anything is left open, it’ll immediately cool down the rooms because of the age of the building,” she said.

In addition to classrooms, Principal Donna Henry’s office lacked heat along with the office of the school’s business operations manager.

“It’s cold in the hallways,” senior Dena Sutton said. “My teacher told me to wear more clothes.”

Ronketto said students were routed into the library and other areas that had heat. “We’re doing our best but we are in a cold snap now,” she said. “It isn’t that easy. We’re trying to keep instruction going.”

Meanwhile, Indiana Department of Education special education officials were at the school Tuesday as part of a routine visit.

The state selected EdisonLearning to operate Roosevelt after it posted six straight years of poor state test scores.

EdisonLearning took the district to court last year after pipes burst in January, causing flooding and forcing officials to cancel classes.



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