EdisonLearning mulling Gary offer of West Side building

2014-01-30T20:00:00Z 2014-01-30T22:55:11Z EdisonLearning mulling Gary offer of West Side buildingCarmen McCollum carmen.mccollum@nwi.com, (219) 662-5337 nwitimes.com

GARY | The Gary school district has offered its West Side high school building to temporarily house students of Roosevelt College and Career Academy, which has been closed for about the past 10 days due to maintenance problems.

However, Roosevelt school leaders have not accepted the offer. Roosevelt Principal Donna Henry said school leaders are reviewing and analyzing a number of options. Any decision would have to be made in consultation with the Indiana Department of Education, she said.

The department is investigating why the school is closed, and will make a report at its Feb. 5 meeting.

EdisonLearning, a private management company from Tennessee, operates Gary Roosevelt. It was appointed by the Indiana Department of Education to operate the failing high school three years ago. It has reported numerous building problems since then to the Gary Community School Corp., which owns the building and serves as the landlord.

Gary school leaders said they have sent repair people repeatedly to work on the heating system.

Channie Weaver, of Gary, is becoming increasingly concerned over the continued closure.

Weaver has two daughters at Roosevelt, one a senior and the other a junior, and they say the building is cold.

"It's ridiculous. They're going to have to make up the days sooner or later," she said. "This is messing up their activities and the learning process. It's crazy."

Gary Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt said the district has responded to the complaints and sent repair people to make repairs.

Last year, a lawsuit was filed in Marion Superior Court, where a judge ordered the school system to restore heat and complete repairs to the Roosevelt building at its expense, including the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. The court said the facility must be maintained at 68 degrees in all areas of the building.

On Jan. 15, the school corporation signed a shared services agreement with EdisonLearning. Pruitt said they didn't have access to the building until they received the alarm code. 

She said EdisonLearning installed new lockers, possibly cutting off some of the heating mechanism in the building. "We are still investigating that," she said.

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