Cedar Ridge fully remodels classrooms after fire - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Cedar Ridge fully remodels classrooms after fire

NEWARK, AR (KAIT) – Things are almost back to normal two months after a fire at Cedar Ridge High School in Newark.

Crews have nearly completed rebuilding and remodeling two computer labs destroyed during the blaze on January 11, 2013.

The fire caused almost $500,000 in damage, so the initial timeline for construction had the extensive cleanup being completed sometime this summer.

Workers, however, now have just a few finishing touches to add, much to the surprise of the students and staff.

"I cannot believe how fast this room has come together just in two months," Prisscilla Callahan said.

Someone visiting the high school would find it hard to believe that Callahan's now freshly painted, tidy classroom looked like a burned-out cavern two months ago.

"It has just gone from ashes," she said, "up to this clean, nice new room."

Crews stripped both hers and Shanda Wood's classrooms to the studs because of the extensive smoke and fire damage.

"They put sheet rock up and paint in a few days and the floor down in here," Wood said. "Everything just came together really quickly."

Wood and Callahan are expected to move their classes back into these rooms later this week, but a few more, mostly cosmetic, things still have to be done.

"Bulletin boards have to be put up," Callahan said. "We're getting a SmartBoard [and] new projectors."

"Things like the intercom system have to be rewired and hooked up," Wood said, "and we don't have our phones in here yet."

Those projects are minor and will not take long to complete, especially since students like Faithe Inman have also pitched in to help.

"Everyone's really come together and worked to get it back the way it was," Inman said.

She and some of her friends helped restock the shelves in Callahan's classrooms with textbooks Wednesday.

"We were really close as a school before," she added, "but we are definitely [closer] now."

Now that the rebuilding process is coming to an end, Callahan and Wood would like to thank their administrators, students and community for supporting them along the way.

"It was a process," Wood said, "and they have been very patient with us and they have been absolutely wonderful."

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