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Showers in the Vicinity,50°
Thursday, October 23, 2014

Weeks after storm, Long Beach middle school reopens
Officials say move will alleviate overcrowding
By Alexandra Spychalsky
Courtesy Syntax
Long Beach Middle School students returned to classes at the Lido Complex on Monday.

Middle school students returned to the Lido Complex on Monday, as school officials reopened part of the building five weeks after Hurricane Sandy caused extensive flood damage.

All of the Long Beach School District’s 4,600 students have been crowded into three buildings — the East and Lindell schools and Long Beach High School — since classes resumed on Nov. 13.

At the Nov. 27 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent David Weiss presented a timeline for restoring the district’s facilities. With the help of members of the board and the central administration, he detailed the protocol workers have been following to clean the buildings — after issuing a disclaimer.

“We’re choosing the least bad of a series of bad choices,” Weiss said. “Which means that most of our choices have negative consequences.” He explained that district officials focused on options that would help the most people, as well as people who had little control over their current situations.

On Monday, the sixth and seventh grades moved from the high school to the Lido Complex. The eighth grade gained access to a new wing at the high school as well as additional classrooms there. And the middle and high schools returned to regular school hours. On Dec. 19, the eighth grade will also make the move to the Lido Complex.

Weiss said that his team determined that the high school was the most crowded building, and needed to be attended to first. “[This] will alleviate the overcrowding in the high school and allow the middle school to return to a higher degree of normality,” he said.

The second targeted area was East School, which is also overcrowded, Weiss said.

On Jan. 2, the first day of classes after the upcoming holiday recess, Lido Elementary students will move to the Lido Complex, and the placement of West School and pre-K students will be “adjusted,” Weiss said. Those adjustments have not yet been specified. West School will not reopen until March, and Blackheath is beyond repair.

“West took the largest hit,” said Weiss. “The remediation is extensive.”

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