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No more mold: Students 'excited' to be back after Hinsdale Middle Schools reopens

Students 'excited' to be back after Hinsdale Middle Schools reopens

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 5:45 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 8:41 a.m. CDT
(Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com)
Rocky May, dean of students, directs kids to their buses Tuesday afternoon after their first day back at Hinsdale Middle School, which was closed for two weeks while crews eradicated mold.
(Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com)
Hinsdale Middle School students cut through the snow to their buses Tuesday after finishing their first day back at school, after sharing a split schedule at Clarendon Hills Middle School for two weeks.
(Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com)
Crossing guard Willie Sims stops traffic for students Tuesday after school on Garfield Street.

HINSDALE – School buses rounded the corner and cars lined up out onto Garfield Avenue as the congestion of a Tuesday afternoon Hinsdale Middle School dismissal returned to normal.

It was a welcome change from the previous two weeks in which the building was vacant – aside from cleaning crews.

"It was great to see the kids and many said they were excited to be back," said Principal Ruben Pena.

Tuesday was the first day back for Hinsdale students as the school reopened its doors after mold eradication, effectively ending the split schedule students had shared with Clarendon Hills Middle School since Jan. 23.

"It was a little weird being back because we had been at a different school, but it was nice being in our own building," student Grace Thrana of Hinsdale said. "And our parents were really happy that we were back."

The "half-day schedule" had Clarendon Hills students attending class from 7 to 11:30 a.m., while some Hinsdale students enjoyed sleeping in before attending from noon to 4:30 p.m.

"It was a terrible morning," student Michael Brose of Hinsdale said Tuesday. "I didn't want to wake up."

Brose, however, said the first day back went well and everything was routine.

Before opening on Tuesday, District 181 held an open house Monday at Hinsdale Middle School for members of the community. The building was cleared for students and staff after inspections by fire officials, the Regional Office of Education and architects from Healy, Bender & Associates, according to district officials.

Additionally, reports from Integrity Environmental Services on sampling conducted Jan. 31, Saturday and Monday indicated the school was safe for occupancy.

Pena said he thought students and staff handled the split schedule "amazingly" and on Tuesday said it was great to see the students and teachers jump right back into learning at Hinsdale. He also couldn't say enough about how well Clarendon Hills handled the split schedule.

"The Clarendon Hills community was very welcoming to our students," he said. "The staff over there accommodated us and the whole community supported us in this whole process."

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