Tulsa Public School officials say students from the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences will hold classes at the former Sequoyah Elementary School.
Fire destroyed the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences located at 17th and Lewis early Wednesday morning. Classes will resume at Sequoyah on Thursday morning.
“TPS staff is working diligently to prepare the building for TSAS staff to welcome students back to school first thing in the morning,” said Dr. Keith Ballard, TPS superintendent. “We are doing everything in our power to ensure that TSAS students have a comfortable home at the former Sequoyah building.”
Tulsa fire crews are still investigating what started the fire. Hazardous material crews were called because the fire may have caused explosions in a science lab, firefighters were warned to keep their masks on in that area.
When firefighters first went in, there were only small flames, but an explosion occurred soon after. Witnesses say they heard a huge booming noise and then larger flames shot up into the sky.
The Tulsa Fire Department says eight firefighters were injured, six of those firefighters have been released. Two others are being treated for 2nd degree burns. The Red Cross also provided relief for the more than 70 firefighters battling the fire.
School officials sent out an email letting students know what is going on and asking them to spread the word. Officials are already setting up meetings for this afternoon to decide where school can be held in the days to come.
Tulsa Public School Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard released this statement about the fire:
“We are greatly saddened by the fire at the historic Barnard building and the devastating impact this has had on the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences. They are a charter school partner with Tulsa Public Schools, and we are committed to helping them recover from the tragic loss of this facility. We will be working closely with TSAS Director Eric Doss to locate an alternate facility and materials so we can help them get back to the business of educating students. We are concerned about the safety of the firefighters who have been injured fighting the fire. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families.”
The Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences is a charter school that is operated in the old Barnard Elementary School building. Tulsa Public Schools still owns the building and officials tell us they are working with administrators to find a new location for the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences.
All Souls Unitarian officials say students from TSAS are meeting there this morning and have access to Emerson Hall and upstairs classrooms at the church.
The TSAS officials released this statement about the fire:
This is a sad day for the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences community; the fire at 2324 E 17th Street has been devastating. Our community is very strong and we will recover and rebuild together. Our number one goal is to get students back into classrooms and begin to get back to a sense of normalcy.
Our partners at Tulsa Public Schools have graciously opened the doors to Sequoyah elementary at 724 North Birmingham Avenue and already begun an amazing transformation, cleaning and moving equipment for our use. Our staff will meet at the school this afternoon to make strategic decisions for our new location. Tomorrow we are going to have school at Sequoyah starting at 9:00 am.
There are a lot of questions and an overwhelming outpouring of support from the Tulsa Community. We'll have more information about how people can help as soon as possible on our website at tsas.org
The school thanks Tulsa Public Schools for their support and the Tulsa Fire Department for their fearless job putting out the fire.