Will There be a New High School for Caruthersville?

CARUTHERVILLE, MO -- Almost a year after several tornadoes ripped through Region 8 many communities are still recovering.  In Caruthersville, Missouri homes are being repaired and rebuilt but the school still remains untouched.

A bond issue is going to be on the ballot for Aril for the construction of a new high school.

Since this past fall students at Caruthersville High School have been attending class in 28 FEMA trailers.

Superintendent Nicholas Thiele said this is necessary because the school was so heavily damaged in the April 2006 tornado.

"All the roofs need to be replaced and a great deal of the glass if not all of the glass windows and doors needs to be replaced," said Thiele.

While repair is still being considered it's not the option most want to see, they want a new school.

"It's vital to our community.  I mean, a community needs a high school," said student Jimmy Lyons.

It's estimated that a new high school will cost about $8,000,000.  The proposed bond would provide 4,500,000 of that.  The school will already have 3,500,000 from FEMA, their insurance, and from a loan from the Department of Natural Resources.

"Our students need to have a confidence that this community will continue to support their needs as they continue in their education," said Thiele.

While the trailers have been a good alternative they aren't a real school.

"I think that every student that goes to Caruthersville High School, we know how the trailers are to us.  I mean, everyone refers to them as FEMA high," said Lyons.

"It's fine for a temporary measure but I'm very anxious to get into a new school," said teacher Ellen Madison.

Students here have been very supportive of this bond issue, many wearing t-shirts showing support of their current school and their desire for a new one.

"I'm very proud of the seniors.  The seniors had every opportunity to be down and feel like this year was a lost year for them," said Thiele.

While the seniors won't ever attend the potential new Caruthersville High School it's possible that the current freshmen will.

Thiele said many support the bond and everyone supports the students.

"Honestly I don't think people in the community don't want a new high school, I think there are a number of people who are very concerned about the cost," said Thiele.