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East Chicago School Receives Disaster Relief Loan

Claire McInerny

State officials have loaned the school district $3 million to support its response to the ongoing lead contamination crisis.

East Chicago’s Carrie Gosch elementary school sits next to soil that contains staggering levels of lead. That’s a major health threat that can harm children’s brain development.

So, as a safety measure, district officials moved about 450 elementary students to an abandoned middle school across – and rushed to renovate it before school began.

“It was not in any way shape or form ready for school to be open in that building,” says School City of East Chicago Superintendent Paige McNulty. “We had not done our planned maintenance on boilers and everything like that."

McNulty says the $3 million state loan will pay for past maintenance like that and lowering toilets and sinks to make bathrooms elementary friendly, and for future maintenance like installing internet in the abandoned school.

Mcnulty says she hopes state legislators will forgive that loan.

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