Local News

Storm-damaged Fayetteville school to open for start of classes

Posted August 10, 2011 10:30 a.m. EDT
Updated August 10, 2011 10:50 a.m. EDT

— Students of Fayetteville's Ben Martin Elementary School will return to their old classrooms for the start of the 2011-12 school year in two weeks, 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.

Cumberland County Schools officials said last week that they expected repairs to Ben Martin Elementary to be completed by mid-September, but Principal Crystal Brown said that the Board of Education confirmed late Tuesday that repairs were going so well that the school could open for the first day of classes on Aug. 25.

School staff members are already moving items into the school building, Brown said, and teachers will return on Aug. 17. An open house for students and parents will be 4:30 to 6 p.m. Aug. 24, she said.