Leaky Roof and Cold Classroom Concerns Some Parents in Cross County School

January 8, 2005 --Posted 5:00 p.m. CDT

Cherry Valley, AR -- As Arkansas legislators begin the task of repairing the state's education system, 1 Region 8 school is facing costly repairs of its own.

When it rains it pours over Cherry Valley Elementary School and the water just sits over the heads of 150 young students.

"It's been leaky for years that I know," said Cherry Valley Elementary Principal Melvin Bowles

But now the situation has gotten worse over the past couple of weeks, according to Bowles.

"It's a flat roof and anytime you have a flat roof, you're going to have problems," said Bowles.

"We're in the process of getting a slanted roof, it's just obtaining a lot of water," added maintenance director Jerry Buchanan.

There is so much water on the roof, the school has had to rope off an area of the main hallway, and they've put out barrels to collect water. It's become a safety concern for some parents who wish to remain anonymous.

"We have people up there trying to get the water off," said Buchanan.

There is only one classroom that's been affected by the leaking roof. The students have been moved to another classroom, until the problem is resolved. For now, the school is working on restoring heat in the classroom; just a first step in making it a safe and healthy learning environment.

'We accepted a bid on November the 29th, from Jonesboro Roofing Company. They're in the process of getting the material in, and waiting on the weather," said Bowles. "Safety is our first concern, so naturally we're going to take care of the kids, we're not going to put any kids at risk of being injured or hurt."