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PHOTOS: East Somerville Celebrates Milestone in Community School Reconstruction

Public officials, students, parents and construction workers celebrated a topping off ceremony at the new East Somerville Community School.

The East Somerville Community School burned down in Dec. 2007, and rebuilding the school has "been a long process; longer and more challenging than I think many of us expected," according to Maureen Bastardi, the Ward 1 representative on the Somerville School Committee.

Bastardi was one of many speakers Friday at a topping off ceremony for the new school, which is currently under construction and expected to open in fall of 2013.

"It has not been easy, and it has not been quick," said Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone at the ceremony about the rebuilding effort.

After the school burned down, the city worked to receive a $10 million insurance agreement, and it also worked with the Massachusetts School Building Authority to get $15.2 million in funding for the rebuilding effort. The city issued a bond to fund $8 million of the project, and last year it .

Meanwhile, students of the East Somerville Community School have been attending class at temporary location throughout the city since the fire.

When the new school building opens in 2013, it will be home to about 550 elementary school students.

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