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Montessori School 32 to relocate while wind-damaged site is repaired

Children attending Bennett Park Montessori School 32 will be temporarily reassigned next week to School 8 at Masten Avenue and East Utica Street.

The move will accommodate repairs at their school on Minnesota Avenue in the University District, which was damaged Tuesday when wind gusts toppled bricks.

For the third day in a row, classes were canceled today, Buffalo school officials announced Thursday. It was closed at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The Montessori school had relocated to School 63 at 120 Minnesota at the start of the school year during reconstruction of its building at 342 Clinton St.

"We're expecting severe weather over the weekend, and we want to make sure the facility is safe for students and teachers to return there," said Stefan Mychajliw, Buffalo Schools spokesman. "The safety of our teachers and students is of utmost importance."

Bricks blown off the building smashed some windows near the boys locker room, but no pupils or staff were injured.

Mychajliw said contractors and engineers inspected the inside of the chimney stack Wednesday.

Initial reports suggested the chimney is structurally stable and poses no apparent danger of collapsing.

Chimney repairs were expected to take about 10 days.

Classes for the Montessori pupils could resume as early as Monday in School 8, Mychajliw said.

"It all depends on how much we can get moved over the weekend," he said.

Staff of the school will report today to the Minnesota Avenue location.

Several teachers have volunteered to help move classroom supplies to School 8, Mychajliw pointed out.

"Our teachers deserve a lot of credit," he said.

If school officials decide the new building will be ready for classes Monday, pupils' parents will be notified over the weekend.

School officials said the system's transportation department is working on alternative bus routes to make sure the pupils will be taken to School 8.

The school enrolls about 500 children in prekindergarten through eighth grades.


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