Roof damage is so bad at one elementary school in Memphis that it will need to temporarily move out — and two schools will begin the school year late.
Students at Georgian Hills Achievement Elementary School, run by the state’s Achievement School District, will be relocated to nearby Frayser Achievement Elementary until the roof can be replaced, according to an ASD spokesperson.
To accommodate the last-minute change, students from both elementary schools will start school Aug. 14, a week later than scheduled.
The roof was damaged during the May storm that wiped out power for most Memphians and hit the Frayser neighborhood especially hard. Water damage that followed made the situation worse, requiring more extensive repairs than what was estimated earlier this summer, said Bobby White, the ASD’s executive director of external affairs.
“Given the damage done, it was also not one of those things you can keep a school in the building,” he said. It’s not clear how long the ASD expects Georgian Hills and Frayser Achievement to share space.
The repair appears to be a rare instance of cooperation between the ASD and Shelby County Schools around a facilities issue.
Tensions have flared in the past because almost all ASD schools are housed in buildings owned by Shelby County Schools, which is charged with maintaining buildings it has no day-to-day control over. Shelby County has about half a billion dollars in needed repairs for its aging buildings. (Georgian Hills Elementary was slated to get a new roof this coming school year, according to a preliminary plan.)
White said the local district has been responsive to Georgian Hills’ needs.
“They’re pushing hard to get this work done as quickly as possible,” he said.
Shelby County Schools officials did not respond to a request for comment.
School staff, volunteers and a moving crew are working to transport equipment out of the building and into Frayser Achievement Elementary, about two miles away. Parent meetings were held this week about the changes, White said.