Monday, September 15, 2014

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Pratt Institute Attempts To Recover After Fire Destroyed Parts Of Main Building

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After the mid-February fire that tore through the Pratt Institute's main building, the school and its students are attempting to catch up with lost time and in some cases, lost work. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

Flames shot out of the top of the Pratt Institute's main building. The electrical fire destroyed the roof and the sixth floor. Smoke and water inundated the rest of the 125 year old building.

Now 1,000 students at the renowned arts school will have to use alternative space for up to a year.

Senior Elina Ansary lost as many as 30 completed paintings for her thesis, which she started in September.

"When your work goes up in flames, it makes you realize, you know, you have to work faster and more," Ansary said. "Losing it made me feel like, okay I have to work harder."

So she's back at it. In a gallery for master's students converted into studio space for seniors.

"We've had to delay some shows. We've had to move some of our lecture classes into auditoriums," Provost Peter Barna said. "So we've basically adapted."

Barna said the school and its students are resilient, with a nod to businesses for donating supplies and galleries for offering space.

Preliminary work has already begun on the main building, as contractors work with the school to figure out the timeline for repairs.

Students could receive compensation for their losses.

"Each student will inventory their work and inventory their losses and eventually that will come back through insurance," Barna said. "We wanted to get materials in their hands at least immediately."

That's so those on a deadline, like Ansary, can get working.

She has to have her thesis finished by May.

"I think I can do it. I'm working fast," she said.

If students can't make deadlines because of damages, there may be accommodations, but that's up to their faculty mentors.

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