Saturday, Dec 7, 2013
Meridian Elementary School Condemned
MOUNDS -- Since the beginning of the school year all Meridian students have been learning under one roof in two shifts. School officials say with the school condemned, they're looking for ways to get the children back to a normal schedule.
"This is a closure step for many steps to come," says Regional Superintendent Janet Ulrich.
The school has been closed since early June after workers discovered toxic mold. Students returned to school this fall with an irregular schedule and administrators have been in talks about future plans.
"It's imperative to us, to get the students back onto a normal schedule," says Elementary Principal Brent Boren.
"Of course everyone would like to be on the regular schedule and operate in their own independent classrooms but we're making the best of a bad situation," says High School Principal Terrance Gaddy.
Both principals have been impressed the split schedule has been a smooth transition. It will stay in place until there's a new plan. Right now they're discussing the possibility of adding an extra wing on the high school and having mobile classrooms.
"They may relocate in a different area or may stay in this area. There's multiple options for the board of education to consider," says Ulrich.
A lot of the decisions depend on funding. Ulrich says it could cost up to $6.5 million for a new structure. "If the Capital development board in Springfield will be able to help us with that cost, it could be as much as 75 percent of that cost under the index."
Leaving the tax payers with the remaining 25 percent.
"We might be able to see some other grants or other additional emergency dollars come. We're still working on that. Still working with leg," says Ulrich.
Ulrich says she's grateful the community has been supportive and helpful. "It's just heart warming to know that a community has pulled together like this and manage what they've had to deal with."
Meridian officials say they all want to make sure they do what's best for the students and many would like to see a regular schedule as soon as possible.
Wind: 5 MPH
Humidity: 72 %