School Board Discusses What to Do With Choctaw Co. HS Students after Fire
BUTLER, Ala. (WPMI) With the building still smoldering, the Choctow County School Board met Wednesday afternoon to issue an emergency state of emergency allowing the district to make decisions quickly.
"When you declare a state of emergency you are able to bypass some rules. If we are given the go ahead to go into the building I won't have to go through a long process to get someone to get the water out of the building," said Sue Moore Choctaw, County School Superintendent.
The entire west wing at Choctaw High was destroyed; lockers, classrooms and an administrative office. That is where the 9th through 12th graders have most of their students.
For senior Justin Glover, it's like losing a home but he says he knows he and his classmates will be just fine.
"We are wondering where we are going to go and how they are going to do it. We are praying they can find a place where we can go, "said Moore.
Authorities say the fire happened around 8 p.m. Tuesday night. There were no injuries.
Firefighters from at least a half dozen area departments battled the blaze into the early morning hours.
Wednesday, the school superintendent said there is no foul play suspected, giving the district the green light to clean up water and smoke damage.
Displaced students will be housed in other parts of the the school. Moore hopes to resume classes by next week.
"We are talking about the area that is not burned. The west wing that's destroyed. We are talking about the central part of the building and the east wing," said Moore.
It's believed the fire may have started in the ceiling section of the west wing. The State Fire Marshal said it may take up to a week before he can officially say how the fire started and what caused it.
Choctaw County High School is home to more than 375 students, faculty and staff.
The district says it may have to house some students at the adjacent elementary school. It is asking for help from other districts for desks, books and other supplies.