Agawam preschool to reopen in original location months after fire

Agawam preschool to reopen in original location months after fire
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 12:00 AM EDT
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AGAWAM, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -For months, Western Mass News has been following the story of an Agawam preschool that was damaged in a fire. Monday, they are reopening their doors at their original location.

After a tragic fire in April caused damage to their facility, officials at Jump Start Preschool said they are ready for a fresh start. And they look forward to welcoming students back to the classroom.

On the night of April 5, a fire damaged Jump Start preschool on Springfield Street in Agawam. Western Mass News was on the scene, where we saw the impact firsthand.

“I didn’t have time to process I was just go, go, go because my priority was the kids,” said Rachelle Hannoush, director of Jump Start Preschool.

That same night, a temporary location was found for the Jump Start preschool, at the shopping plaza on Springfield Street. Days later, the preschool was reopened.

“It’s kind of like a tornado that came upon us and we kind of jumped on,” Hannoush explained.

She told Western Mass News the temporary location had its challenges but they and the kids made the most of their short-term spot.

“We didn’t have everything that we needed it was not what we were used for but guess that’s how resilience gets stronger so we made due. The kids had fun they were excited to be at a temporary place and we made the best of it to make sure the kids are still happy and having fun and in the classrooms and for them not be affected in any way,” Hannoush explained.

The fun at the location is coming to an end, as they return home. To their original spot.

“Everybody has been working really day and night day and night to make this happen so very grateful and thankful to be home,” Hannoush said.

As the playground is set and the stuffed animals are ready for play, Hannoush said it could not have been done, without the support of the community.

“Support and love from all the donations, volunteers help and support phone calls messages emails it made it feel like it made us go through it...I got my strength from the support of the community gave me,” she said.

Hannoush is looking forward to unveiling the months of work to her students and their families.

They are the first to know from April every month I’ve been giving them monthly updates of the project posting pictures in our private parent group and kind of keeping them in the loop so they did expect this and they’ve been following the process along the way...I’m excited to see the kids’ faces as they come and see the classrooms,” Hannoush said.

To commemorate their reopening, a ribbon cutting is scheduled for enrolled students and their families at 4:00 p.m. Monday and at 6:00 p.m. they will be holding an ice cream party for new families!