(MOBILE, Ala.) - 2,300 Murphy High School students, displaced after a Christmas Day tornado wreaked more than $10 million in damage to their campus, will relocate to Clark-Shaw Magnet School.
Superintendent Martha Peek said the high school students and middle school students will be kept separate. 50 portable classrooms will be set up outside Clark-Shaw for Murphy students. The students will share common areas, but never at the same time, Peek said.
While Clark-Shaw students will return to school as scheduled on January 3rd, Murphy High students will start moving in on January 7th.
Peek said the relocation is temporary, but it’s unknown how long repairs will take at Murphy High. The damage was found to be much more significant than originally thought, and the rough damage estimate of $10 million could rise.
“Looking at the building, it looks intact,” Executive Director of Operations Tommy Sheffield said, “But actually some of our roofs lifted up and sat right back down. The roof system separated from the wall structures.”
Sheffield said the school system hopes to have repairs complete around summer break. The original plan was to bring portable classrooms to Murphy’s campus, but because of planned construction work and structural issues with the buildings, Clark-Shaw was selected instead for safety reasons.
Peek said Clark-Shaw was once a high school itself, so it has enough space and facilities to accommodate both schools. Clark-Shaw also has a basketball court and a football practice field, so Peek does not think there will be much interference with athletics.
The school system will hold a meeting on January 2nd at the Civic Center downtown for parents to address questions and concerns.
Murphy High students are asked to stay away from the damaged campus. On January 3rd, they will have an opportunity to pick up books and items from lockers. The days students are to report to Clark-Shaw are also listed below.
STUDENT LOCKER PICKUP
Thursday, January 3
Seniors: 9:00-10:00 A.M.
Freshman: 10 A.M. - Noon
Juniors: 1:00-2:00 P.M.
Sophomores: 2-3:30 P.M.
FIRST DAY BACK FOR MURPHY STUDENTS
Seniors: Jan. 7
Juniors: Jan. 8
Sophomores: Jan. 9
Freshmen: Jan. 10