By Staff –
(Update, Dec. 13) – Rochester City Prep Charter School has announced the school will relocate to 1001 Lake Ave., the former location of Nazareth Academy, after reports of possible chemical contamination at the school’s previous location.
According to officials, students will remain in the new building for the rest of the school year, until Rochester Prep finds a new, permanent location.
The Rochester City School District has also leased vacant space at two charter school buildings for All City High students who had also been housed in the building, as well as new bilingual students who may relocate to the area from Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Maria.
The two leases will last for five years each, giving the district the ability to opt-out annually.
(From Dec. 6) – Rochester City Prep Charter School parents and students have protested possible chemical contamination of the building that houses the school recently.
Previously, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) found that ground contamination from a former Bausch & Lomb facility near the school may have migrated toward the building, although officials ultimately determined the building was safe for students.
“The DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) and others have said to us it’s safe for our kids to be there,” RCSD Spokesman Carlos Garcia stated.
However, Mayor Lovely Warren and some other local officials have sided with students in the matter.
“I went to the school board a number of years ago and asked them not to put students in this building because of the environmental concerns,” Mayor Warren reportedly said.
Rochester Prep currently leases the space from the Rochester City School District, and the mayor and superintendent are reportedly seeking an alternative space to house the school’s 300 students.
The school has released the following statement regarding the matter:
“Rochester Prep is committed to the safety and security of its students and staff, and we understand that certain new reports of environmental issues have caused concern in our school community. Before moving in, we reviewed all of the available environmental reports on the building to ensure the conditions were safe and within the requirements of the law. We are working to engage with our staff, students and their families to share the information we have that underlies our confidence in the building’s safety, and to hear and recognize their questions and concerns.”
The building also presently houses All City High, and the Youth and Justice Program.