By MORGAN MANNS
FOR THE COURIER
FOSTORIA — Classes for Fostoria City Schools’ seventh- and eighth-graders will be held temporarily at the St. Wendelin Catholic School, Superintendent Andrew Sprang announced Thursday.
A Tuesday morning fire in the boiler room of the Fostoria Junior/Senior High School has displaced roughly 780 students in grades 7 through 12.
A temporary setting for high school students was not announced Thursday.
“At this point in time, we are close to having a place for our ninth- through 12th-grade students and are continuing to work to finalize the details,” Sprang said.
According to Sprang, the cleanup and classroom setup process at St. Wendelin has begun.
However, he said he is not ready to provide further information — such as a start date or transportation details — until that process is farther along.
“I would like to thank everyone at St. Wendelin for their help and support through this transition. … We continue to make progress every day.”
In an email to staff and parishioners, St. Wendelin Principal Teresa Kitchen said, “We have the room and means to help and what a wonderful opportunity to open our doors and return the gesture, as they did when our school was hit by the tornado.”
St. Wendelin closed its high school at the end of the last school year.
Sprang also said a team of 90 people will be arriving at the junior/senior high school to expand the cleaning efforts in the building. Beginning Saturday, the team from Cleaner & Dryer Restoration and Construction, of Toledo, will be working 24-hour days until the work is completed. An air quality test will be performed before students and staff can reoccupy the building.
Sprang said the cleaning crews will be cleaning everything from the floor up, including ductwork, as well as replacing ceiling tiles.
Staff members spent Thursday morning cleaning out lockers, placing all items from each locker into a box labeled with that student’s name and locker number. The boxes were sealed with instructions on how to take care of the items inside as well as the student’s report card.
Students or parents/guardians were able to pick up their boxes Thursday. Those who could not make the assigned time can pick up their boxes on the west side of the junior/senior high school by the gymnasium doors from 4-6 p.m. today.
Officials said all boxes must be picked up by 6 p.m. today, or they would remain in the building through the cleaning process.
Tuesday’s fire was extinguished in less than 10 minutes. However, smoke traveled through the ductwork into the rest of the school.
The fire also caused a power outage, which affected the phone and internet systems districtwide and prompted the school district to close all of its buildings Tuesday. Elementary students were able to return to school Wednesday.