Nov. 3, 2004 Classes are not expected to resume before Monday at Addelita Cancryn Junior High School, where fire gutted five classrooms late Tuesday night.
Noreen Michael, Education commissioner, issued a press release late Wednesday afternoon saying the extent of damage was being assessed by Fire officials, insurance adjusters and others to determine a course of action for rebuilding the damaged areas, which also included two bathrooms and a storage area.
"In the interim, the damaged building will be curtained off and secured," Michael said, adding, "Classes will resume shortly," but probably not "before next Monday."
Michael said arson is suspected in the blaze. "The V.I. Fire Service suspects that arson is the cause of the fire," she said.
"We will have to rebuild the damaged portion which housed five classrooms, restroom facilities and a storage area for the Math Department," Michael said. The area was completely destroyed.
She said once she gets a final evaluation from the adjusters and Fire officials, then she will be better able to estimate the time it will take to rebuild.
"It is absolutely heartbreaking to believe that there are persons in this community that could commit such a malicious and callous crime against our students."
More than 900 students attend the school located adjacent to Frenchtown on Veterans Drive.
Students had already been off the first two days of the week for D. Hamilton Jackson Day, Monday, and for Election Day Tuesday.
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