Navajo Elementary School to be closed for rest of year

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) -- Officials with the Scottsdale Unified School District say Navajo Elementary School will remain closed, following a fire.

According to the Scottsdale Fire Department, the fire broke out in a storage room at the school on August 22. Crews from multiple Valley fire agencies responded to the school and quickly controlled the fire.

In a letter released by Principal Matthew Patzlaff, Oak Learning Academy, which has become the temporary home for Navajo Elementary students and staff members, will be the school's new home through fall of 2019.

In the same letter, Patzlaff said the school district's acting superintendent, Dr. John Kriekard, spoke with them about what lies ahead for Navajo. Kriekard said based on estimates, it will cost an estimated $3.5 million to repair the three classroom buildings that suffered fire, smoke, and water damage. The fire also resulted in the release of asbestos into the air and onto surfaces of the affected buildings, and random samples taken from the three buildings show an unsafe level for occupancy.

According to Patzlaff, Kriekard said the decision on whether to repair the damaged buildings will be up to the school's Governing Board, and if the board decides to rebuild the school, it will take about 18 months to be built, from the time an architect is hired.

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