Wichita BOE To Vote On $700k In Repairs For Fire-Damaged School

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Monday, October 21, 2013

For the past several weeks, the Wichita School District has been assessing the damage at College Hill Elementary School.

Now, the Board of Education is moving forward with a vote Monday to approve $700,000 in preliminary repairs to the school, school district spokesperson Susan Arensman said.

Arensman anticipates there could be more expenses. The district does not have a total damage amount from the Aug. 12 fire.

Jerry Phipps lives near the school, located near First Street and Clifton. He's anxious to see some changes.

"I have relatives live a couple blocks east of here," he said. "They're so disappointed that they have to be bused clear to the other side of town when they could just walk two blocks to school."

If the board approves the plans, students could soon get that change. Currently, the school functions in the former Bryant Elementary School building.

However, district officials say the restoration could take time. There was heavy damage to the inside fo the building, including the structure that supports the roof. It could take one semester -- maybe more -- before students return to their old school building.

"If they do approve, it's incredible," Phipps said. "We're really looking forward to seeing them come back and College Hill's been here for many, many years, and we want to see it continue."

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