By MORGAN MANNS
FOR THE COURIER
FOSTORIA — Students in grades 7-12 should be back in the classroom, somewhere in Fostoria, by early next week, Superintendent Andrew Sprang said Wednesday.
During Wednesday night’s school board meeting, Sprang said the school district is recovering from a Tuesday morning boiler room fire that has caused the junior/senior high school to be shut down while the building is cleaned.
“Things are definitely moving in a more positive direction than they were 24 hours ago. We’re well on our way to having our kids located within the city,” he said.
“At this time, we’re working out logistics of spaces and other district functions such as food service, transportation and classroom setup.”
Sprang said he is waiting for details to be finalized before he releases more information on the plan, but is hopeful to have something in place today with the goal of getting students back in a classroom setting by Tuesday.
The next step, according to Sprang, is to clean out classrooms and lockers at the junior/senior high school. Staff members have been gathering items from their classrooms that they may need to begin teaching again, and officials will clean out lockers today.
Items from each student’s locker will be placed in a box labeled with the student’s name and locker number. The boxes will be sealed up with instructions on how to take care of the items inside once they are returned to the students.
Sprang said officials hope to have the lockers cleaned out by late afternoon today so students and parents/guardians can begin picking the boxes up. Although no time has yet been set, officials plan to divide the pickup times by grade level with the goal of getting all the boxes out of the building by Friday.
Sprang said more details on box pickups will be announced today through the district’s all-call system, website and Facebook page.
The school board on Wednesday approved an agreement with Cleaner & Dryer Restoration and Construction, of Toledo, to clean the junior/senior high school.
The cleaning crew began working Wednesday, according to Sprang. They will be working some 12-hour days this week and will begin 24-hour days this weekend to get the school back up and running.
Tuesday’s fire in the boiler room of the junior/senior high school, reported at 5:09 a.m., was extinguished in less than 10 minutes. However, smoke traveled through the ductwork, forcing the building to be closed.
The fire also caused a power outage that affected phone and internet systems districtwide. As a result, Fostoria City Schools closed all of the school buildings Tuesday, but electricity was restored and elementary students were able to return to school Wednesday.
“We’re pleased with all the support that we’ve received and we appreciate everyone’s patience,” Sprang said. “We’ve gotten a lot of support from various groups in the community. I definitely do feel better tonight than I did last night. ”
In other business, Dr. Thomas Guernsey was elected board president, while Sharon Stannard was elected vice president for 2018.