Cedar Ridge fully remodels classrooms after fire

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

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

The fire caused almost $500,000 in damage, so the initialtimeline for construction had the extensive cleanup being completed sometimethis summer.

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

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

Someone visiting the high school would find it hard tobelieve that Callahan's now freshly painted, tidy classroom looked like aburned-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 thestuds because of the extensive smoke and fire damage.

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

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

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

"Things like the intercom system have to be rewired andhooked 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 backthe way it was," Inman said.

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

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

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

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

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