Sky Islands Featured on KOLD News 13

TUCSON, AZ – July 11, 2013

Rogers Elementary—empty since 2010—is re-opening in August.

Changes are happening at two schools closed by the Tucson Unified School District that may help communities combat vandalism and protect home property values.

Repairs and cleaning are underway at the old Rogers Elementary School as the newly relocated Sky Islands public high school prepares to open next month.

Workers are repairing the alarm systems, air conditioning, electric and plumbing on the TUSD campus that’s been empty since 2010.

“TUSD Facilities has been Johnny-on-the-spot in terms of getting us keys, providing the right paint colors, and repairing broken windows,” Popen said.

That’s good news for a site that had turned into a neighborhood eyesore, as vandalism was fairly widespread at the school.  Progress has been made, and only the second wing of the school won’t be finished in time for the first school year.  Sky Islands plans to restore and open that north wing for the 2014-15 school year.

“As soon as the major repair work is completed, we’re bringing in professional cleaners to get the floors ready,” Sky Islands’ Director Shari Popen said. “Once that’s done then we’ll be ready to put the furniture out and open the school on August 5.”

The cleaning is all being done using ‘green’ and sustainable products.   In addition to a full range of core academic classes, Sky Islands program integrates environmental issues so staying ‘green’ is a core value.