(MOBILE, Ala.) – Mobile County School Administrators said Wednesday it is not certain if Murphy High School students will be able to return to the historic Midtown Mobile school for the beginning of the spring semester.
Murphy High School, as well as many Midtown Mobile homes and buildings, sustained tremendous damage after an EF-2 tornado touched down in Mobile Tuesday evening. Much of the day Wednesday was spent cleaning up debris scattered all over the school’s campus.
All of the nearly 90-year-old buildings suffered roof and window damage, and many of the school’s old oak trees were uprooted or damaged. The roof of the school’s auditorium building collapsed as well as several of the portable classrooms on the south end of the campus.
"When you see the shape it’s in, it’s quite devastating,” Mobile County Schools Superintendent Martha Peek said. “You look at the old oaks, certainly the historical buildings we have here; it’s devastating."
Peek said the school system’s goal is to have students back in class on January 3, though it’s not certain if they will return to Murphy High School just yet. That decision, she said, will be made by noon Thursday.
"What will determine that will be the overall electrical situation here,” Peek said, “A lot of the old historic canopies were taken down, and those have main conduits for electrical service in them. That's what's being assessed right now."
Peek said she was pleased with how quickly work crews have been working.
"The debris removal is going well,” Peek said, “It's certainly a vast improvement from where it was first thing before sunrise this morning."