Hartford School Renovation Plan on Hold, But Plans to Move Students Continue

The Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Hartford is nearly 100 years old and renovations were set to begin after this school year, but they are on hold because of the city and state’s financial issues.

While there is no funding, students will still be moved to another school because the Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School is in disrepair, according to a statement from Hartford Public Schools.

“The Martin Luther King school building, which is nearly 100 years old, has been in disrepair for far too long. The most serious pending matter is the outdated boiler system. Out of the four original 80-year-old-boilers, only one of them remains functional. This boiler is liable to fail at any time, which would likely provoke an emergency relocation during the school year,” a statement from the school department says. “This is an unnecessary risk to take, particularly during the winter months, and it is unreasonable to impose this risk on our families.”

When parents were notified last summer that the children would be moved, the plan was to move them to the Lewis Fox Middle School building across the street.

On Tuesday, school officials said determining the location of MLK students for the upcoming school year requires immediate attention to provide a place that is optimal for learning.

People who oppose moving the students said it’s a disgrace to relocate the children and essentially “warehouse” them at an unfamiliar facility with no plan for that to end. Some said this latest move continues a pattern of neglect of this school community.

They will be holding a news conference this afternoon.

The Hartford Public Schools department recently launched Equity 2020, a long-term facilities planning project that takes financial realities into consideration and more information will come on that plan in the weeks ahead, according to the school department.

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