Education

Tornado-ravaged Fayetteville school to reopen by mid-September

Posted August 3, 2011
Updated August 10, 2011

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— Students of Fayetteville's Ben Martin Elementary School will be back in their old classrooms by the middle of September, officials said Wednesday.

The school on Reilly Road was heavily damaged on April 16 when a cluster of tornadoes barreled across central and eastern North Carolina.

Parts of the school's roof were ripped off, and heavy rains soaked everything inside. Cumberland County Schools officials estimated the damage at $5.2 million.

Students finished the school year at the Ramsey Street Alternative School and the old Hillsborough Elementary School. That's where they will likely start classes later this month for the 2011-12 year.

District officials said, however, that crews are working so rapidly – the initial date to reopen the school had been in December – that repairs might be finished by the time the new school year starts on Aug. 25. Officials expect to meet with the contractor in the coming days and will decide by Aug. 15 when students can return to Ben Martin Elementary.

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  • smegma Aug 4, 2011

    oh the drama. raveged..

  • fayncmike Aug 4, 2011

    It is a shame they could not expand the building if needed, but you can't just put a second story on a building. The first floor has to be built with the reinforcement to support a second floor. I love that Ben Martin is still a working school in the community. I started 3rd grade there in 1968 after we returned from Okinawa."

    As a matter of fact, adding second floors is a very common practice. An architectural engineer simply determines where, if necessary additional support is needed and that's all there is to it. It could have been easily done and a huge amount of tax dollars would have been saved.

  • fayncmike Aug 4, 2011

    They did not replace the entire building. The school was deemed structurally sound by an engineer. They replaced wall damaged and the roof."

    Where did I say they replaced the entire building? I said "add a second floor."

  • becky10 Aug 4, 2011

    It is a shame they could not expand the building if needed, but you can't just put a second story on a building. The first floor has to be built with the reinforcement to support a second floor. I love that Ben Martin is still a working school in the community. I started 3rd grade there in 1968 after we returned from Okinawa.

  • lorawatson Aug 4, 2011

    They did not replace the entire building. The school was deemed structurally sound by an engineer. They replaced wall damaged and the roof.

  • fayncmike Aug 4, 2011

    Considering the fact that student populations are on the rise this would have been a perfect time to add a second floor to the building. They could have doubled the number of classrooms for a lot less than the cost of a whole new building. Of course that won't be happening because, sadly, our government, both local and county have never been any good at planning for the future.