14 kids still displaced after Square One facility ruined in expl - WFSB 3 Connecticut

14 kids still displaced after Square One facility ruined in explosion

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

The Worthington Street explosion left dozens of damaged buildings. Some of them have been condemned including Square One's Chestnut Street facility.

"The roof is concave and when you look in one of the doorways you can see the sunlight coming through, and when you look into some of the parts of the building you can see things have been blown out," said Joan Kagan, president and CEO of the organization.

It's all that's left of Square One's Chestnut Street building.

Before Friday it was a day care center for nearly 100 kids. Now it's just the most recent loss for Square One.

"Eighteen months ago we had five centers and now here we are down to three," Kagan said.

She and her staff are getting too experienced with disaster management.

They had finally settled with their insurance company after their Main Street location was destroyed by the 2011 tornado.

Then the explosion hit.

"A week later, we find ourselves faced with a very similar challenge of having to deal with a totally demolished building," Kagan said.

But a year ago they were prepared for emergencies.

"We had resources and reserves, we had furniture and materials that were age appropriate," Kagan said.

Now this time around, those resources are gone.

"It's made it very, very challenging for us," Kagan said.

The organization has had to fit the 98 kids into other programs, but still 14 are displaced and Square One is still looking for somewhere to put them.

"We are working with other providers, the Department of Early Education and Care to identify where there are openings."

Still Kagan shudders to think of what would have happened if Friday wasn't a holiday at the day care.

"We would have had about 30 children being picked up by their parents and we would have had staff in the building so we were very fortunate," she said.

The staff says that they have spoken with the families of those displaced and they should all be back in day care programs by Thursday.

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