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Henrico may move Baker students to other schools after fire

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Henrico school leaders are working to come up with a plan to temporarily move 450 students and their teachers to a new school following a weekend fire.

Baker Elementary, on Willson Road in Henrico's East End, will be closed Monday and Tuesday so crews can clean-up and repair after the fire caused roof, water, and smoke damage Sunday morning.

"There's the instructional aspect, there's food services, transportation, cleanliness of facility, available space, you'd be amazed at the number of things that have to be considered," Henrico Schools spokesman Andy Jenks said.

An electrical issue sparked the fire in the school's boiler room, according to Henrico fire investigators.

Inspectors and Henrico school officials were at the school Monday to survey the damage while crews from SERVPRO cleaned the mess.

As workers start repairs, school leaders admitted it may be a while before teachers, staff, and students were allowed back inside.

"That's what today and tomorrow is about -- trying to access condition of the school building itself and once we bring students back to school by Wednesday, which is what we're anticipating, whether it's going to be in that building or perhaps using on the temporary basis some other elementary schools that are nearby," Jenks said.

Two options available to Henrico Schools include Varina and Mehfoud elementary schools.

School leaders don't know yet if teachers would be able to come back to Baker Elementary to grab instructional materials.

Henrico Schools will host a community meeting Monday at 6 p.m. at Varina High School where school leaders will answer questions and share updated plans.