After repairs, “outpouring of support,” Baker ES students slated to return to improved school in the fall


April 24, 2017 – Baker Elementary School students will complete the 2016-17 school year at other locations and will return to a restored building in fall 2017. School leaders made the decision in order to provide ample time for repairs to be completed at the fire-damaged school, and to avoid further interruptions to instructional time.

Baker students have been attending Mehfoud and Varina elementary schools, along with New Bridge Learning Center, since a March 19 fire at the school at 6651 Willson Road in eastern Henrico County.

In addition to repairing smoke-and-water damage, the central space that houses the mechanical and electrical systems is being replaced. When students, faculty and staff return to school in September, Baker will have a new mechanical system for heating. Parts of the building’s electrical system have been replaced. Some areas of the roof were affected by heat and smoke, and those are being replaced as well. Other affected spaces will get new ceilings and a thorough cleaning of all surfaces and furnishings.

The school’s principal cited community support as essential in moving the school forward.

“The outpouring of support from the community has been phenomenal, and we are so grateful for that,” said Dr. Beverly Allen-Hardy, Baker principal. “This has been a challenging time for our students, families, faculty and staff, and that community support has made all the difference.”

A video thank-you message from Baker students and staff members can be seen at Henrico Schools’ Facebook page,