Update on KCHS Fire

Many students and faculty members at Kemper County High are moving into temporary modular classrooms and offices Wednesday.

In December, an office near the cafeteria at the school was destroyed by fire. The main office and several classrooms were also vandalized. School officials say they expect to use the structures throughout the remainder of this year.

Throughout the day construction workers applied the finishing touches, while students and faculty did some last minute moving by using school buses and even personal vehicles.

Some on the campus call the area where the modular structures are located, 'The Village.' The 15 structures in the area are serving as the temporary home for 24 classes, a cafeteria, an office for food service employees and the main office.

For more than twenty years, Sheila Spencer has worked as the secretary at Kemper County High School.

"As you can see, we have no copy machines," said Spencer. "As far as the office phones and fax to work with, we have none of the equipment that we normally work with."

From the temporary office to the main building, faculty and students stream throughout the day.

Because of the situation, school officials say nothing is normal. In fact, the principal even uses a two-way radio to signal teachers when it's time to change classes.

"We call students or whatever we have to do," said Calvin Melton, principal.

The temporary cafeteria can seat up to 130 people, so school officials say they are hopeful that they will be able to resume their regular cafeteria schedule. However, that's yet to be seen.

"It is tiring. It is exhausting, but hopefully with testing by the end of the year it will have all been worth it," said Melton. "I expect it to be here definitely until the end of the year, and hopefully, by August we'll be back in the building."

The fire is believed to be the result of arson. So far, no arrests have been made. A $2,500 reward is still being offered for information leading to arrest in the case.

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