Classes Cancelled In Fire Damaged School District

Sunday, October 21st 2007, 6:37 pm
By: News On 6

A small town searches for solutions after a devastating fire. Flames consumed Mounds Elementary School early Saturday morning, now the school district, in a town of 1,200, must figure out where to hold classes while it rebuilds. The News On 6’s Chris Wright was in Mounds on Sunday, and reports the fire forced the district to cancel classes for at least Monday and Tuesday, and unless the district can find somewhere to have them, school may be out of session for much longer than that.

The fire that had raged out of control on Saturday was contained by Sunday. Still, the smoldering debris attracted plenty of shocked onlookers.

"I can't stay away,” said grandparent Ethel Melson. “I bet I've been up here a dozen times, and just look at it with disbelief."

Ethel brought her two grandchildren, both Mounds students, and both of whom are having a hard time accepting what happened.

"All my friends just broke down and started crying and praying to the Lord,” Mounds student Kendra Paxton said. “I just seen all this sadness and it made me cry too."

Students like Kendra are now stuck in educational limbo. The fire forced the cancellation of classes on Monday and Tuesday for all 750 students in the district. Saturday's fire does not only affect students in the elementary school. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from jumping over to the nearby middle and high school, but because of utility problems, students in those schools will also have to find a new home to have classes. Superintendent Gary Lundy looked at possible sites for temporary classes on Sunday, but he admits it will be tough to accommodate everyone.

"We've got a major obstacle ahead of us, but great people, and I feel very confident we'll overcome it,” said Gary Lundy, Mounds Superintendent.

Many members of the Mounds community share that optimism, but say it will take a while to get over the fire that robbed them of their elementary school.

"Wonderful school, wonderful teachers. It just makes you want to cry whenever you come up here and see the destruction that it's done," Melson said.

Superintendent Lundy says the district will most likely hold temporary classes in one of the local churches.

There's still no word on what caused the fire. Oklahoma Fire Marshals will be back in town on Monday to begin their investigation.

Watch the video: Students Left Without School After Fire

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