Knox County officials work to reopen schools Thursday

Knox County officials work to reopen schools Thursday

Posted:
Some South Doyle classrooms were damaged by frozen pipes and broken heating and air units. Many were flooded, including an ROTC classroom. Some South Doyle classrooms were damaged by frozen pipes and broken heating and air units. Many were flooded, including an ROTC classroom.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knox County officials say they worked hard to make sure schools will be open Thursday after the cold left some facilities with problems.

Knox County Schools were forced to close Tuesday and Wednesday because of the deep freeze. School system officials said Wednesday afternoon they will be open on Thursday.

At least half a dozen Knox County schools suffered damage from the past few days of freezing cold temperatures. South Doyle High School was one of the hardest hit and maintenance crews have been working around the clock to ensure students can get back into these classrooms.

Classrooms were damaged by frozen pipes and broken heating and air units. Many were flooded, including an ROTC classroom.

Principal Tim Berry says between three and five classrooms will still be unusable if schools starts back up Thursday, but they have a contingency plan and believe it will not have any effect or cause disruption to students schedules.

6 News asked the school district what the cost of all the damage will be, but they said because they are still evaluating a couple of schools, it will be at least a few days before they know a total price tag.

Dr. Jim McIntyre also noted Wednesday night that more than 80 school buses, a fourth of the system's fleet, failed to start due to the cold.

Contractors say they're working on getting the buses fixed.

"We're using antifreeze for the air line system and fuel treatment for the diesel fuel. And of course, the buses are equipped with block heaters. We'll plug those buses up and come by and start them once we've reached warmer temperatures like we're seeing today," said Doug Davis with Knox County Bus Contractors. "People are out checking the roads right now and of course, the drivers will be advised in the morning to proceed with caution and report any issues or problems that they see."

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