Reid school ‘not resuming operations’ this year; housing students at other buildings

Clark-Shawnee Local Schools are moving forward with their plan to relocate students from Reid Elementary, which will not be “resuming operations in the building this year,” according to the district’s superintendent.

A significant structural problem with the buildings roof was discovered in the building about on Feb. 24.

Superintendent Brian Kuhn said the district has been working with the structural engineer, the county building department and the construction contractor, and they are “not going to be back in school at Reid this school year.”

“All three entities agreed with the many unknowns of the roofing structure and no one is recommending that we resume school operations in the building this year,” he said.

Staff discovered fallen ceiling tiles and a structural issue of a bowing wooden beam in the school library, according to Kuhn.

As a result of the problem, Kuhn and other administrators proposed a continuity plan, which is moving forward for the rest of this school year.

“All three entities (structural engineer, county building department and construction contractor) have agreed that we can safely shore up the building so we can move items out of the school,” Kuhn said.

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Kuhn said they were cleared to remove teaching resources, technology, books and other things they need to continue the plan, and that they will use the rest of the school year to get the remaining items out of that building.

Reid students will continue virtual learning through March 12, Kuhn said. On March 15, students attending in-person learning will be housed in different schools: Students in K-1 grade will be at Kindergarten Village; students in 2-4 grades will be at Rockway; and students in 5-6 grade will be at Possum.

Students will have the same teachers, school transportation will continue for bus riders and food service will still be provided.

“Everyone agrees that the temporary shoring is the most appropriate solution given the timeline for our new elementary to be online, given the cost that would be to do a repair, and there are some safety challenges with a repair to the old building,” Kuhn said. “Adding those factors together, all three entities believe that the most appropriate thing to do is operate using the continuity plan and not put students back in the building.”

Kuhn said their “unified opinion is sufficient for him to say he just can’t put students back in the building or staff back in the building.”

ExploreRELATED: Clark-Shawnee district discovers ‘significant’ structural issue in Reid School

The district’s new elementary building is set to open in the fall for preschool through sixth grades.

Clark-Shawnee school staff were in the elementary buildings last week to help clean up and set up at the schools for the move.

“We will have teachers working to get the rooms set up at all three locations,” Kuhn said. “Teachers can get in and make the classrooms feel like their own and get familiar with the space.”

Kuhn said Crayons to Classroom and the Walmart on Tuttle Road has made a “generous donation” of school supplies for students when they return to school.

“When they return they won’t have all their supplies, all that was left in their desks. We will have those things for them,” he said. “They stepped up in a big way.”

Kuhn said this plan is called “operation bring back our bulldogs.”

“We have received amazing support from families and staff. We are excited for our Reid students to return,” he said. “As superintendent I am grateful of the understanding and support our parents have shown during this difficult time. It’s not what anyone would have expected or chosen, but it’s important to bring back our bulldogs.”

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