Sussex teachers prepare two more sites for students Asbestos forced moves from school and church

February 06, 1992|By Meredith Schlow

Baltimore County officials are painting, moving furniture and, of course, testing for asbestos as they prepare to move Sussex Elementary students to the Rosedale Center starting Monday.

The center and Battle Grove Elementary are the new homes chosen for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students from Sussex, who will be making their third move since asbestos was found at their school Jan. 24.

The students were initially sent to Essex United Methodist Church but had to be moved after one day because a visual inspection revealed crumbling asbestos in the upper walls and ceiling tiles of the church's halls and classrooms.

"We knew that was a possibility because we knew the county was going to test," said kindergarten teacher Maureen Pullias, who has kept her teaching supplies in her car all week.

"We just didn't know that lightning would strike twice," she said.

Ms. Pullias and pre-kindergarten teacher Nancy Murray will share a large room at Rosedale and spent yesterday planning the classroom layout with school officials.

The other kindergarten teacher, Joan Shape, was asked to move her classes to Battle Grove Elementary, which is already housing about 100 of Sussex's older students.

Officials hope the teachers can begin moving their supplies into Rosedale tomorrow.

The biggest change needed at Rosedale is the addition of a sink on one side of the room, which is required by law in classes for pre-kindergarten students.

The county also will paint the room, divide it with cabinets and shampoo the carpet before the little ones are allowed to crawl on it, said Sharon Sewell, center administrator.

"This is a school, and the room is very conducive to being a classroom," Ms. Sewell said.

The room previously housed an adult day-care program for people with Alzheimer's, Ms. Sewell said, and was vacated last week when the program returned to its renovated facility in Essex.

The Rosedale Center now houses an elementary school for children with language learning disabilities, an alternative education program and a senior center for adult activities.

Sussex teachers said they're excited over the prospect of finally being settled with their students, adding that the people at Rosedale made them feel wanted from the beginning.

"You can tell when you walk into a place and feel wanted," Ms. Pullias said.

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