Alhambra campus damaged from fire, SG offers aid

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The school is helping Alhambra High School (AHS) after A-building caught fire on Jan. 2 at approximately 2:30 a.m. The fire started from a space heater that was left on under a desk in the Student Services Office, which led to fire, water, and smoke damage. The A-building will be under repair for the rest of the year.

AHS hosts Saturday School, but due to the fire, it has been relocated to San Gabriel High School’s (SGHS) Multipurpose Room (MPR). In addition, the SGHS College and Career Center is available for the parents while their children are at the MPR.

“Saturday school is given to students in the district by administration for different reasons,” Gateway to Success counselor Denise Fernandez said. “Sometimes the parents and students are split up, so the parents are given a different presentation.”

AHS’s English teacher Kevin Tong, was one of the teachers directly affected by the fire because his classroom was located beneath the A-building. Jessica Wilkerson, SGHS English teacher and speech and debate coach, and her speech and debate team will be conducting a fundraiser to assist Tong.

“I’ve known [Tong] for about eight years, so he’s a personal friend and a great colleague,” Wilkerson said. “He does so much for the school he coaches at as well as the community. It is just important to give back, and it was actually the students’ idea to create the fundraiser.”

District officials created space in the AHS campus to relocate other classrooms and office operations. The A-building contained the Student Services offices, Health Office, Attendance Office, Welcome Center, and four upstairs classrooms. Although AHS’s College and Career Center was not directly affected, its operation and staff were relocated to the library. 

“It is limiting the students’ resources because in the Career Center, there’s a good lab, presentations, and a classroom,” Monica Marquez, college education technician, said. “If they need our help, we’ll go over there because all the Career Centers [in the district] are supervised by the same administrator.” 

AUSD Superintendent Denise R. Jaramillo credited district administrators and security for responding and assessing the damage. Jaramillo also sent a message to the Alhambra Fire Department for its quick and efficient response and AUSD Board Member Wing K. Ho for being on-scene and helping with a variety of post-incident decisions and planning.

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