Graphics

New York

Graphics students are apprehensive on first day back to school

Students walk to the High School of Graphic Communication Arts Wednesday morning. Students from the High School of Graphic Communication Arts and several small high schools returned to their Hell's Kitchen building for the first time since Hurricane Sandy with trepidation. They had heard on the local news and read on Facebook that their school building was in disarray after serving as a shelter for more than 1,000 people displaced by the hurricane which destroyed homes and flooded many parts of the city. Many received emails from their principals and teachers reassuring them that the schools would be ready for them to return to normal, but some weren't convinced their classes were ready to pick up where they left off on Friday, Oct. 26, the last time the schools' held classes. "Yeah, I'm worried. It's pretty disgusting," said Yaina Reyes, a junior at Graphics, referring to conditions she observed in a news report about the school's hurricane shelter earlier this week. City officials originally planned to reopen Graphics to students Monday, while keeping its hundreds of shelter residents in place, even as Principal Brendan Lyons petitioned the department to send his students somewhere else on Monday, citing the turmoil that sharing the space might cause. "If it's not sanitary, it will be sanitary," Chancellor Dennis Walcott told reporters at the time. But as reports of the school's disarray trickled in, officials changed their plans. Instead of opening it to students on Monday, the city began shutting the Graphics shelter down earlier this week and relocating evacuees who had been staying there. Wednesday marks the school's first day back in operation.