Students at Glenwood Middle School were evacuated to Bush Park Elementary School while Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services responded to a fire at their school. State Del. Warren Miller attributed the cause of the fire to negligence on the part of the Howard County Public School System, but county and school officials disagree.
Students at Glenwood Middle School were evacuated to Bush Park Elementary School while Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services responded to a fire at their school. State Del. Warren Miller attributed the cause of the fire to negligence on the part of the Howard County Public School System, but county and school officials disagree. (Photo courtesy of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services)

Glenwood Middle School, which has been closed since a fire caused smoke damage to the school on Jan. 5, will reopen to students this Friday, Jan. 22.

The Woodbine school's 500-plus students have been attending Bushy Park and Dayton Oak elementary schools and Marriotts Ridge High School for the past week-and-a-half while their school undergoes fire restoration work.

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On Thursday, Glenwood Middle students will have the day off in order to allow for their teachers and staff members to set up classrooms and offices at their home school. Friday, the day on which students return to the school, is a half day due to the end of the academic quarter.

Parents will have the opportunity to visit the school on Wednesday between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and receive information about the work done at the building.

According to a note to parents from Glenwood Middle Principal Robert Motley, smoke damage in the affected areas -- including the kitchen, cafeteria and gymnasium – has been cleaned by Building Dynamics, an industrial hygiene and engineering firm originally contracted by the school system to assess and alleviate indoor air quality issues at the school.

Motley's note said that the fire in the school's boiler room was caused by an underground electrical fire outside of the school.

"BGE's underground wires, where the fire began, and the switchgear, where BGE's wires enter the building, were both replaced," read Motley's note. "The school system is attempting to recover costs and compensation for associated damages."

In his note, Motley wrote that electronics and safety systems, including the school's smoke detectors, alarm system and cameras, were inspected as well.

Glenwood Middle, which opened in 1967, has been at the center of a controversy involving the county school system's handling of mold growth there. Several Glenwood parents have complained that school system officials have not properly communicated or acknowledged the building's issues.

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