Heroínas Insurgentes: Working Behind Closed Doors

By Jesús Aguado

In this story there is one certainty: the 2012–2018 cohort of students enrolled in the Escuela Primaria Estatal #4 Heroínas Insurgentes School—formerly located at Recreo 46 until the site was closed down for safety concerns—will finish their primary education at their current location, a site once occupied by a Supermercados Gigante supermarket in the Plaza Real de Conde. Their graduation ceremony will be held there in the central “patio.”

However, if you ask the average Sanmiguelense, that is the only certainty about the Recreo 46 site’s future.

People say the school will become a luxury hotel and will feature a restaurant bar and even a parking lot. And how can Sanmiguelenses not put stock in such rumors, given the secrecy with which the State Institute for Education Infrastructure—INIFEG—has treated the issue? They have published press releases with no concrete data about the fate of the site and have tried to keep all details of the construction going on there behind closed doors despite the fact that as a public building it should be accessible to the public. Even some who have delivered construction materials and have tried to look inside say they have been asked to leave.

In context

For years, education authorities petitioned the state government to restore the building. In 2017, INIFEG finally applied 12 million pesos toward restoring it. The State Secretariat of Education (SEG) conducted a structural study with the Civil Protection Secretariat. The ensuing inspection reported that the students’ safety was at risk in the deteriorating space. For that reason, SEG asked the school’s then-director, José de Jesús Martínez Martínez, to finish the school year on Friday, June 30, 2017—15 days earlier than normal.

State education authorities told the school that students would be temporarily relocated for 18 months to the Gabriela Mistral School on Libramiento Manuel Zavala while the Recreo 46 site underwent renovation. But parents resisted this move, saying that the state government had other plans for the space and that if they agreed to leave, the building would never be a school again. Parents finally relented when local and state authorities agreed to rent the former Supermercados Gigante locale in the Plaza Real de Conde, which has been used to hold concerts and, lately, as a market.

State authorities continued to insist that the relocation would last only 18 months.

 

Read the full story on our printed version.

 

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