High school closes days before first day of classes

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Emily Butcher just graduated eighth grade at Inez Middle School, and was excited to go to Sheldon Clark High School.

She just learned she will be going to high school, - at the middle school.

The change comes after safety concerns at and around the high school.

"It just makes me feel like sad," says Butcher. "Because the high school is like the middle school, but it's still the middle school."

The new Martin County Schools Superintendent, Steve Meadows, was in meetings all day with parents and staff, figuring out this game of musical schools.

The plan recommended to the school board is to send all high school students to Inez Middle School, and to consolidate all middle school students at nearby Warfield Middle School.

"It's a logistical nightmare if it gets out of hand, but we're at a flash point," Meadows tells us.

Meadows says the decision to close the school was made, because nearby road construction has created a hazard out back, near the gymnasium.

Our source with Kokosing says the company is building an extension to Route 645 right through that mountain. - Not over it, but through it.

The job requires crews to blast off parts of the mountain to make way for the road.

It was on Tuesday at football practice across the street, that coaches heard a dynamite blast, and saw debris rolling toward the school.

"I mean, you could just see that big boulder rolling," says assistant football coach, Steve Casdorph. "And the trees popping and stuff. It was pretty wild."

Casdorph and his wife say that was all they needed to see, to agree that the school should be closed.

Their son is a sophomore at Sheldon Clark.

"Whenever a rock comes down a hill, and your baby's in that building, my baby ain't gonna be in that building," says Marsha Casdorph.

Superintendent Meadows wants parents to know that his staff will not take any chances with their children's lives.

"Our engineers and architects won't say whether the building is safe or not," says Meadows. "But we have a duty and an obligation to make sure that the decision is made for what's best for students."


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