What's Next For Marmaduke's School? - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

What's Next For Marmaduke's School?

April 4th, 2006 -- Posted at 5:30 p.m. CST

Marmaduke, AR -- On a weekday morning in early April most schools are filled with bustling students making their way through the halls to their classrooms.

On Tuesday morning, Marmaduke's halls have no children.....their rooms are a disaster.

Teachers are not teaching.

Judy Bell teaches junior high at Marmaduke.

"Well we're just trying to get the elementary put in boxes, and get everything moved out so we can clean up, and we can start rebuilding and that's what you have to do," said Bell.

Quite simply, there's just no way to tell how long it will take to replace and rebuild what this tornado blew away in a matter of seconds.

Part of the roof is gone, brick walls are caving in, there are wires hanging from the ceiling, and debris is scattered everywhere.

Debbie Smith is Marmaduke's superintendent.

"We're going to evacuate the elementary building--that's the preschool through the sixth grade. That building will not be able to be used for the remainder of the school year. We will have to figure out what to do with those kids, and that's what we're doing now," said Smith.

Smith is hopeful the high school students will be able to return once their building has been thoroughly checked to make sure the structure is sound.

"We're anxious to get back. The teachers that were able to come in, came back this morning, and they are looking forward to having the students back.

Before these students come back, Smith says the top priority is ensuring a safe place to come back to.

As for these teachers, the task of cleaning up, and rebuilding is tremendous.

"We're just all pitching in to get that process going. I think we'll be back in school before long, and the little darlins' will be happy to be back....this is their home," said Bell.

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