Storm damage continues to affect Clarkdale Attendance Center

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:24 PM CDT
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CLARKDALE, Miss. (WTOK) - Lauderdale County students will return to school this week for a new year, however, damage caused by storms last school year remains.

“We will get through this. It’s just a time-consuming effort,” Lauderdale County Superintendent Dr. John-Mark Cain said.

Inspections of a damaged Clarkdale Attendance Center have revealed more problems than previously thought and Cain said that is causing a delay in repairs.

“Once we got deeper into the process, secondary evaluations revealed more issues that were not discovered initially,’ Cain explained. “Instead of just patching it or putting a band-aid on the situation, we dug deeper. We wanted to make sure that if we are investing in these repairs, we want to make sure they’re accurate and lasting.”

In late March a tornado ripped through the west side of west destroying the softball field. Two weeks later, another EF-2 tornado caused significant damage to buildings. Water filled several classrooms in the main building. An entire section of the 300 building has been blocked off with a temporary wall. On the other side, the sounds of dripping water can still be heard. Six classrooms have been heavily impacted. Classrooms are still littered with ceiling tile.

“When we have these buildings that were constructed many many moons ago, there was one particular code. Now when we rebuild, we have different codes,” Cain said. “That’s one of the issues that we have to make sure we are meeting the specs of because that would determine the insurance coverage in the future, as well.”

The modular classrooms are not likely to arrive until September. When that happens, students and teachers in the main building will relocate.

“Those south end classrooms will not be utilized at all this school year,” Cain said. “The north end has been evaluated and we are good there. Students will continue there, but once the modulars are placed on campus we will relocate the students in the 300 building.”

Cain admits the situations has been frustrating and is taking longer than he had hoped, but he says they want to make the correct repairs instead of kicking the can down the road.

“We want to make sure our insurance company is fair to us. We can get the resources that we need to make those repairs and we are going to have school,” Cain said.

The softball field also remains damaged. He says the team will have to play on alternative fields for the time being. School begins Thursday for students A through K.

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