Arson to Blame for Rio Grande City Middle School

POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 10:10am

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:32pm

Federal investigators in Rio Grande City say arson is to blame for the fire that burned down a middle school there.

The ATF has completed their on scene investigation conducting over 30 interviews and have determined arson is the cause. Rio Grande CISD Superintendent Roel Gonzalez says he is saddened by the news hearing that someone intentionally started a fire at the school. Gonzalez says the school was built back in the 70's and used as a high school until turning into a middle school. He says it meant so much to current and former students.

The school was under a multi-million dollar renovation just a month away from being completed. The fire was set and now millions of dollars of damage has been done. The school is 100,000 square feet big, and he says half the school was damaged. Around 800 students use the middle school and have been relocated to portable classrooms. For now, fencing and security guards are surrounding the school. Superintendent Gonzalez says extra patrols will be added at the school at night.

As for now, he says the school's chief of police will continue investigating this arson case and work with city leaders to find the culprit. That's a promise state and federal officials echo as ATF specials agents continue the investigation.

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