TOP STORY>>CJHN students in school
Leader staff writer
Cabot Junior High North seventh- and eighth-graders went back to school Tuesday, two weeks after the rest of the district.
Sunday will be one month since a fire started by a faulty light fixture destroyed the Cabot Junior High North building Aug. 10.
Roughly 1,200 students attended classes in the $9 million, eight-year-old Junior High North building.
“I can’t say thank you enough to all the teachers, administrators, parents, students and volunteers who gave up their Labor Day to help us get these portables ready for these students,” said Frank Holman, Cabot School District superintendent.
Intercoms and bell systems were not yet ready for the students, but teachers and administrators were keeping in contact with two-way radios.
“We still have a few-dry erase boards to hang up, some bookshelves to put up and a few plumbing jobs but we have a desk for every student,” Holman told The Leader. Despite pleas to have students ride the buses, about half the students were driven to school for the first day back, which caused some traffic congestion around the campus.
“The students and teachers are very positive and happy to be back to visit with their peers,” said Holman. Following an assembly in the Cabot Junior High North gym, students then split by grade to go over the student handbook with their teachers and get their class schedules before returning to the gym for lunch.
“We have concession facilities in the gym that keep the food hot, and it’s the very same meal being served at all our other schools,” Holman explained. The school’s 400 ninth-graders started school Aug. 28, a week after the rest of the district returned, attending classes in four portable buildings already on the neighboring Cabot High School campus and 24 empty classrooms in the old high school science and business buildings. Holman said district officials hope to hear from insurance adjusters within the next couple of weeks to find out how much money the school can expect to receive through insurance. Cost to rebuild Cabot Junior High North has been estimated to be about $15 million. Construction is expected to take about about two years.