CLARKDALE, Miss. (WTOK) — Lauderdale County students will be back in school this week for a new year, however, the damage caused by last school year’s storms still remains.
“We’ll get through this. It’s just a time-consuming effort,” Lauderdale County Superintendent Dr. John Mark Caine said.
Inspections of the damaged Clarkdale Attendance Center have revealed more problems than previously thought, and Cain said this is delaying repairs.
“Once we got deeper into the process, secondary evaluations revealed more issues that weren’t initially discovered,” Cain explained. “Instead of just patching it up or putting a bandage on the stand, we dug deeper. We wanted to make sure that if we invested in these fixes, we wanted to make sure they were accurate and durable.”
In late March, a hurricane hit the West Side of the West and destroyed a softball field. Two weeks later, another EF-2 tornado caused extensive damage to buildings. Water filled several classrooms in the main building. An entire section of Building 300 was closed off by a temporary wall. On the other side, the sounds of dripping water could still be heard. Six semesters hit hard. Classrooms are still filled with ceiling tiles.
“When we have these buildings that were built many moons ago, there was one specific code. Now when we rebuild, we have different codes,” Cain said. Insurance coverage in the future, too.”
Standard classes are not likely to arrive until September. When that happens, students and teachers will be moved into the main building.
“These classrooms at the southern end will not be used for the entire school year,” Cain said. “The North End has been evaluated and we are good there. The students will continue there, but once the units are placed on campus, we will move the students into Building 300.”
Cain admits the situations have been frustrating and taking longer than he had hoped, but says they want to make the right repairs instead of kicking the can down the road.
We want to make sure our insurance company is fair to us. “We can get the resources we need to make those repairs and we will go to school,” Kabil said.
The softball field is also still damaged. He says the team will have to play in alternative stadiums for now. School starts on Thursdays for students A through K.
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