John F. Kennedy High School In The Bronx To Be Ready For First Day Of Classes Despite Explosion

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx will reopen for the first day of school next week after all, less than three weeks after the building was severely damaged by a gas explosion.

All seven programs that operate from the school will be open for the first day of the 2015-2016 school year on Wednesday, Sept. 9, according to the Department of Education.

On Thursday, Aug. 20, a blast caused heavy damage to several floors of the school, at 99 Terrace View Ave. in Marble Hill. Three workers were severely burned.

One of the workers lit a match to test a new gas line that was being installed in a science lab at the school, causing a “massive blast,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said after the blast.

But the damaged rooms have since been sealed off, and the building has been deemed structurally sound. Air quality tests have also determined that the building is safe, the DOE said.

Some science labs remain out of commission as a result of the explosion, but alternatives such as lab carts will be available, the DOE said. There are also some functioning science labs that remain usable.

In the days following the blast, the consensus was that the building would not be ready for the first day of classes. It houses eight buildings for more than 4,000 students.

Students at two charter high schools that were supposed to start class the Monday after the explosion had to be relocated to the In-Tech Academy in the Bronx.

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