Investigation for East Bay school fire

April 7, 2008 9:14:52 AM PDT
An East Bay school is being forced to cancel classes today after a weekend fire that caused $1 million dollars in damage.

Arson investigators are going to be back today to take a look at the scene. The word is no school today or tomorrow at Juan Crespi Middle School in El Sobrante. But the staff admit, they will have to scramble if they want to make the school ready in time for students on Wednesday.

The fire broke out Saturday morning and it tore through a teachers' lounge, the library administrative offices and a few class rooms. School officials say it appears to be an electrical fire, but arson investigators are not certain yet and they will be back on scene this morning to determine the cause. Damages at this point are estimated to be in the millions of dollars. Right now, the worst case scenario is that school may be closed until Friday, but staff say their goal is reopen and be ready Wednesday.

"Fortunately we have some empty rooms in this building, so we'll be able to have places to move people to," said Madeline Kronenberg, school board member.

So that is the big question right now, whether they will be ready in time to reopen on Wednesday. This fire impacts 700 students at Juan Crespi middle school, not to mention teachers and staff. The fire also comes at a critical time for students, the California State Standards Test is just two weeks away, teachers' say every day out of the classroom means they'll miss out on valuable time they will need to prepare.


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