Students return to Danforth Tech after fire, speedy reno
Getting back into school routines has a whole new meaning for students at Danforth Tech Collegiate.
The doors officially opened on Thursday, as the century-old building is restored from a spring-time fire that gutted a large chunk of the campus.
In the wake of that blaze, some 1,200 students were forced into other classrooms or even other schools.
The fire happened in late April, disrupting the end of the school year.
Today, stepping into the school on Greenwood Avenue near Danforth, you can still detect a hint of smoke in the air.
But you can also smell the fresh paint and the new drywall.
Danforth Tech principal Denise Martins says the renovations were no small job.
"We are looking at probably instructional spaces and a few departmental spaces that were affected," she says.
Roughly 45 rooms and hallways were damaged by smoke and flames.
Martins adds that TDSB staff and contractors have been working non-stop to remove all of the damaged material and make the school look like new again.
That includes new floors, new lockers and new furniture and electronics.
All but two classrooms have been reopened, including the drama room where authorities say the fire started. The adjacent area was left with the most severe damage.
Martins estimates the renovation project is about 90% complete and the fix will cost somewhere between $1 and $2 million dollars, which will be covered by insurance.
She says the final cost will not be known until the work is complete.
Police consider the fire an arson attack but there have been no arrests made.
What is not immediately clear is whether the blaze was a prank that got out of control or whether the alleged arsonist intended to cause severe damage to the school.