By Jim Perry
“We’ve got a mess.”
So said Koln Knight late Sunday regarding the decision to close Cushing Public Schools on Monday.
Knight, superintendent of schools, made the decision about 10:15 p.m. Sunday following a 5.0-magnitude earthquake hit just outside of Cushing.
Knight and other school officials visited campuses and decided to shut down classes on Monday.
“Right now we cannot tell about Tuesday,” he said Sunday night. “Right now we’re trying to get through today and tomorrow.”
Chris Hubbard, director of plant management for CPS, said about noon Monday that he expected classes to be back in session on Tuesday. He was correct.
“This building and the pre-kindergarten center — the old Sunnyside — have the most damage,” Hubbard said while replacing a light fixture in Cushing Upper Elementary School in the downtown area.
“The high school had almost no damage and the new Middle School was good,” he said.
“I would be surprised if we were not in school tomorrow. At this rate, I think we will get things cleaned up.”
Martha Cackler, principal at CUE, said Monday morning teachers would return to the scene later in the day.
“We will let our teachers know when they can come in today and start doing what needs to be done.”
Cackler said she was surprised that most damage done to CUE — ceiling tiles were dislodged, chunks of insulation fell to the ground and light fixtures tumbled down — was on the eastern edge of the building near Little Avenue.
“This part was added on in the early 1990s. It’s funny but the newer part of the building suffered the most damage.”
Cackler, who said she attended classes when in school at the building, said she wanted to assure patrons their children would be safe.
“We would not allow anyone — children especially — into the building without knowing it was structurally sound.”