School students are going to class somewhere else - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

School students are going to class somewhere else

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(09/11/12) - A new school year brings new challenges but for some Bay County students, which includes attending class in a banquet center.

The Friday before the Labor Holiday, there was some cleaning done at Bay Arenac Community High School. During that time, a water pipe burst in the building.

Students found out that they would have to go somewhere else to learn.

"It's a little more complicated getting all the way out here," said high school senior Julie Purdon.

They're attending class at Grand Banquet and Conference Center in the meantime.

"I was scared I wasn't going to finish my last year of high school, like, we weren't going to start. We were going to have trouble finding a new school," Purdon said.

The principal says because offices, classrooms and several ceilings were damaged, students won't return to their normal school until at least Oct. 1.

"We are a building that was built in 1949 and so we are aware that we would probably have an issue with asbestos materials in the building, so we had to close the building and get a team to come in and look at what the damage was. If asbestos was involved and what it was going to take to get everything maintained, cleaned out," said Erin Sullivan, principal and superintendent of the charter school.

Teachers had to salvage everything they could, such as textbooks, papers and pencils.

"With this transition here, we may lose students because of the situation quite possibly," Sullivan said.

Some students wonder if their classmates will still be motivated because of the changes.

"They're surprised about it. Everybody was looking forward to going back to the building and going back to regular like we usually do, but it was a pretty big shock for everybody," Purdon said.

ABC12 was not able to get inside the school, but Sullivan says that there was flooding on the entire second floor.

About 100 students are enrolled, but that number has dropped some since students have been attending class at the banquet center.

Sullivan says some of the decrease is because students are sick. She plans to contact students as well as their parents in the next few days.

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