Newport High School looks more like a circus these days, with a tent of plastic, people on stilts and an amazing act: Turn it back into a school by Wednesday morning.
"It will be an inconvenience for a couple days, but our kids are resilient and our staff is too,” Newport School District Superintendent Dave Smith said. “So we'll be okay."
The repairs come as a result of a fire outside of the wood shop last Friday. 300 students were evacuated just before noon after an ember got into the sawdust collector. Smoke from the metal container escaped and went into a nearby vent, sending it to every room in the school.
"It could have been a lot worse,” Smith said. “However, we have a lot of smoke damage, so that's what we've been dealing with."
Every ceiling tile has to be replaced, carpets need to be cleaned and all surfaces have to be wiped down by Wednesday. Property restoration workers will work through the night to get classrooms ready.
Repairs to the gym and cafeteria will take a little bit longer due to the height and size of those rooms.
"We'll have our students eat at the elementary school for the next week and a half,” Smith said. “So there will be some inconvenience."
Students were cleared to come back Monday, but Smith said he wanted to be safe.
"Being able to have students out of the building we can go through several rooms such as this and replace the tiles and really still eliminate some of that lingering smoke smell," Smith said.
Smith adds that it will cost about $250,000 to repair but they're covered for catastrophes such as this.