Greene County Tech school damaged by storms

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) –Tuesday night storms moved through leaving a path of destruction.  Part of that path went right through Greene County leaving Greene County Tech High School damaged.

"We're trying to clean up all of the debris, clean up the building and get it secured," said Superintendent Jerry Noble.

Noble said they knew there was roof damage Tuesday night but didn't know how bad it was.

"About 60% of the roof was torn off and it carried it across the back building," said Noble.

That's where employees are working hard to get the metal roof disassembled so they can haul it off.  Wednesday they used blow torches to cut the pieces.  After the roof ripped off, water started pouring in.  Several of the classrooms and the offices have water damage.

Wednesday workers added plywood to parts of the missing roof where there were skylights.  They won't keep the water from coming in if there is more rain.  Noble said they don't know if there is damage to equipment but as a precaution they're moving out computers and smart boards until the roof is repaired.

"Hopefully by Monday we'll be back in at least part of the building secure the part that is damaged and get in the other part," said Noble.

He said if they can't recover any classroom space in the immediate future they have been offered classroom space at East Side Baptist Church.  Noble said the administration at Paragould High School has offered to share their space as well.

School employees, coaches, teachers and the school board president are all pitching in to get the cleanup finished faster.

"School is really important to a community and you often see the community come together to help out," said Noble.

They have most of the entrances blocked to keep people out while they make the repairs.

"I know the kids are all worried about missing too many school days now because I know they don't want to go to school in the summer and I know the teachers don't want to either so we just assure them that we're going to get back in school as soon as we can," said Noble.

He says students will be back in school on Thursday.  Students should park and be dropped off in their normal locations.  People will be on hand to point students in the right direction.

Students are taking end of course exams this week and Wednesday's class cancellation interrupted the testing.  Noble applied for an extension with the Arkansas State Board of Education so students could take the tests at a later date.  Their request for the extension was denied.  The tests have to be administered no later than this Friday.

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