Students of burned-down Miami school to attend classes at church - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Students of burned-down Miami school to attend classes at church


MIAMI, Okla. (AP) -- School officials here hope to have a new elementary school by September to replace one that burned down last week, but classes will be held for now at a church.

Starting Wednesday, the First Christian Church will allow students of Roosevelt Elementary to attend classes there through May, Dean Hughes, Miami's superintendent of schools, said Monday.

"Church officials contacted us and offered the church's facilities," he said. "The church has classroom space, a small gymnasium that doubles as a cafeteria and a small playground area.

It will be an ideal situation for our classes."

Hughes said the school district intends to compensate the church with funds from its insurance policy, but that no rental fee has been decided.

Roosevelt Elementary has 225 students enrolled in grades one through five. It also has two transitional first-grade classes.

Preliminary reports indicate the Friday morning fire was caused by faulty wiring in the roof.

The school, built in 1952, wasn't equipped with smoke alarms or a sprinkler system because state laws don't require older buildings to have them.

Keith Manion, Miami fire chief, said there has been no evidence to suggest arson or foul play in the fire.

While no damage estimate was available, Manion said earlier that the damage could reach $1 million.

"We are in the process of putting all the figures together,"

Hughes said. "Besides the physical structure, we'll need a lot of replacement furniture and supplies. Everything was destroyed but the school's library.

Hughes said the plans to build a new school will be discussed once the investigation of the fire is complete and debris from the old building is removed.

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