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Springdale elementary school damaged by EF-3 tornado

Springdale Schools were closed Wednesday, March 30, due to tornado damage but will reopen Thursday following inspections done by structural engineers.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — The Springdale School District closed Wednesday, March 30, after reports of power outages and potentially severe weather.

George Elementary School in Springdale suffered major damage from an EF-3 tornado. The gymnasium of the school took the biggest hit. 

Along with the gym being destroyed, the kitchen and cafeteria were severely damaged.

Because of this and the rest of the storm damage around Springdale, the district made the decision to cancel classes for every student Wednesday.

“Our number one thoughts are always with our kids, it’s always kids first, kids and families so we have some of the best servant leaders in the world that are here in Springdale Schools and they’re in the process of reaching out to our families and making sure everyone is okay we’re going to figure out a way to make sure we get through this day together,” said Trent Jones with Springdale Schools. 

Jones says the elementary and other schools that have been damaged have been looked at by structural engineers and are good to go, meaning the schools will be open Thursday, March 31.  

"The majority of the structure of George Elementary has been looked at by our maintenance, by construction experts, by structural engineers and has been deemed safe," Jones said.

Jones says he's the first to understand how parents might be a little nervous to send their kids to school there in the morning, with the top priority of getting the kids back into a routine. 

"Tomorrow is going to be a serious day where we take things kind of slow but we want our kids to know they are part of this family it’s safe it’s been deemed safe and we are going to do what we do best in Springdale which is learn and have some fun," Jones said.

 As for the gym, Jones says that will take some time to rebuild.

"We’ll probably roll out a plan over the next several days or weeks where we can talk about kinda the timeline on what that’s going to look like."   

The Treehouse Pantry is providing food bags to Springdale families impacted by the severe weather. The food bags will be available today through the rest of the week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 802 West Allen Avenue.

George Elementary School in Springdale, Arkansas, was damaged by a potential tornado in the early morning of Wednesday,...

Posted by Springdale School District on Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The students of Har-Ber High School East compiled a list of resources, in both English and Spanish, that the Springdale School District shared on Facebook.

Stay with 5NEWS for updates on this developing story. 

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