Not yet three months after a still-unsolved arson fire ravaged their building, the faculty and parents of the Primrose preschool in south Littleton celebrated their little community's comeback. …
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Not yet three months after a still-unsolved arson fire ravaged their building, the faculty and parents of the Primrose preschool in south Littleton celebrated their little community's comeback.
Though the school reopened for classes only 10 days after the late-night fire on Aug. 9, Primrose's owners, Farima and Reza Nemat, took the crisis as a chance to improve on the school they've run for the last several years.
On Oct. 26, the Nemats “cut the ribbon” on the school's environmental sustainability efforts, which included completely converting to solar power, as well as a host of security upgrades.
“We could have sat around and dwelled after the fire,” Farima said, “but we decided to look at it as an opportunity. Now we're back bigger, better and stronger than before.”
Primrose now boasts a slew of environmentally-friendly features, from LED lighting to artificial turf to a schoolwide composting program. The school's carbon footprint has been reduced by 132 tons a year, said Mark Simmons, an environmental engineer hired to help revamp the school's resource usage.
The school's security has been beefed up with dozens of security cameras and doors that lock by remote control.
The school's comeback is nothing short of remarkable, said Paula Johnson, whose two young children attend the preschool.
“I think many other educators would've had a far harder time coming back,” Johnson said. “This is such a testament to who Farima and Reza are. They didn't miss a beat.”
Though some parents were scared off by the unsolved arson, Reza said the school lost four of its roughly 165 families in the weeks following the crime, but gained several new ones too.
Josh Yarmon decided to enroll his two young kids at Primrose while working on a labor crew that mitigated fire damage in the school.
“I got to know Farima and Reza during the reconstruction,” Yarmon said. “Their positivity was so encouraging. I could tell it was the sort of place I wanted my kids to go.”
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