GIRARD Reopened school on watch list
Pupils returned to Girard Intermediate School after remedial work was completed.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- Parents say they will be keeping a close eye on their children they sent to Girard Intermediate School this morning.
Doors opened shortly after 8 a.m. for the first time since May 2001, when the building was closed because pupils and staff complained of health problems.
Since then, carpeting has been replaced with vinyl, the ventilation system has been changed and insulation was replaced.
Principal David Leo said teachers of the 410 pupils in grades four through six have been given forms to document any problems with the building.
A nurse is on duty for both the intermediate facility and adjoining Prospect Elementary School, Leo said.
Sixth-grader Kristina Mankin was glad to be back after attending classes in the former Tod Woods School until the remedial work was completed.
Although she suffered ear problems before the intermediate school closed, she said she was happy because of better lockers and computers in the new school.
Chris Neal had been reluctant to take her son, fourth-grader Bryce Grinn, to school, but she's more at ease now after attending the school's open house.
"I might be a tad nervous. I hope everything is OK and they [school officials] are telling us the truth," Neal said.
What others said
"Hopefully, they have the mistakes fixed," said James Fearer after he dropped off his nephew, sixth-grader Charlie Fearer.
Fearer said his nephew, who lives with him, experienced bloody noses, rashes and constant coldlike symptoms before the building was closed. Fearer said he will be watching his nephew's health very closely.
Beth Bovo said she wasn't reluctant to take her two sons, Matthew, who is in sixth grade, and Mitchell, a fourth grader, to the intermediate school.
"I don't think it was as bad as people thought it was," Bovo said, noting her sons attended St. Rose Elementary School until this year.
Another parent, Heather Wagner, also was glad to drop off her son, Sabastian, a fourth-grader, but she said she would be keeping a close eye on him.
"My son has very sensitive skin," she said.
Teachers indicated they felt good about returning to the building after working at the aged Tod Woods building.
"Everything will work out," commented Wendy DiBernardi.
"It will be good to get back into this great building," added Sandy O'Neill.
The intermediate school was closed shortly after it was built two years ago.
Tod Woods School, which had been closed to be turned into a community center, was reopened to accommodate classes last year.
A parents group is making an effort to have three members of the board of education removed, saying the board did not act properly to alleviate the problems.