Whitehall Pre-K Learning Center moves to Nova building, New start date

JACKSON, Tenn — An update on a Pre-K school damaged by hail and suffered  what the superintendent calls catastrophic damage.

“We’re going to move everything from Whitehall,” Superintendent Verna Ruffin said.

Tuesday, in a special called school board meeting, board members heard an update and got good news from Superintendent Ruffin about Whitehall Pre-K.

“We found out today that we are clear and we do not have asbestos in Whitehall,” Ruffin said.

The early learning center was closed after a recent hail storm caused roof damage and rain flooded the inside.

Now the school district is ready to move forward with the program but in a new location.

“Our teachers and staff can get into the building tomorrow, not our students or parents, but our teachers and staff to start assessing what’s in the classroom and what’s going to be salvageable and what needs to be packed,” Ruffin said.

Teachers and staff will go into the building for the first time since last semester and pack up items to decide what should be moved to the now vacant Nova Elementary building.

“It’s really encouraging to see the teachers be that committed in providing for those students,” School Board Chairman Bob Alvey said.

Alvey said the school is now on track to reopening.

“It’s going to take several days to go in and get all of the materials assessed, clean everything, transport everything from the Whitehall location and get that over to Nova,” Alvey said.

The district now plans to have students in the new location and classes to begin January 25.

“There will be an open house on the January 24th to allow parents to come in and look at the school, figure out where the classrooms are for their children and make sure everything is ready to go,” Alvey said.

Although the program is moving,  it is not a temporary location.

“By the summer we will be ready to relocate Nova back into Whitehall so that our students can begin inside there for the 2017-18 school year,” Ruffin said.

Superintendent Ruffin said a letter will be sent home to every student at the school with a complete timeline and date for the open house.

She says there will also be a parent informational meeting as well.

The school district is working to create a hot line for parents to call if they have any questions or concerns.

They urge you to visit the school district’s website, www.jmcss.org for more details.