SCS spent $20,000 to eliminate pests from infested high school

Kirby High School spent $20K to eliminate pest infestation

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Mid-South school is back in session after a pest infestation shut it down for a week.

Kirby High School opened Tuesday to students and facility after being inspected by the health department.

"Today we welcomed our students and staff back at Kirby HS successfully. Everyone was glad to be back, and the entire school day went without any issues. Over the last week we've had our internal facilities team along with three external vendors conduct the necessary treatments and clean-up process of the rodents that were found in the school. There has not been any sighting of any type of pest in the building today or over the last few days. We are confident the treatments and clean-up process has worked, and we will continue to collaborate with the Department of Health to ensure the school meets all health requirements. The teams will continue to monitor the campus over the next few weeks to ensure the problem doesn't persist."

Shelby County Schools said the entire cleanup process cost an estimated $20,000. With approximately 800 hours of labor, crews replaced 700 ceiling tiles and 200 ft. of insulation in the school.

Sources said exterminators and cleaning crews worked to get rid of rats, roaches, and snakes that turned the school building into a home.

Students said they saw improvements inside the high school.

Most of them have never seen rats or snakes inside Kirby High, but regardless, they're happy things are moving in the right direction.

"I was paying attention this time and I ain't see not nothing--no type of nothing," senior Kajun Burress said. "I think they did their job."

Other students agreed, saying they didn't see rats, roaches or snakes but did describe an unfamiliar smell in certain parts of the school.

"The smell is just uncomfortable to be around and stuff," freshman Vaiyhounius Crego said.

"I ain't see no roaches so far, but it just stank, but they are going to get it together," sophomore Asia Smith said.

Another student said all the rodent talk took away from the reason why she wanted to be in school.

"The snakes and all that stuff was really a distraction for all of us," junior Tamya Smith said. "The predicament that we're already in, we what to improve our scores and all that and not have distractions."

The most recent health inspection performed at Kirby High School happened August 14. The school passed that inspection, according to the Shelby County Health Department.

On Monday, Shelby County Schools posted a YouTube video about the cleanup.

In it, the school talks about the long hours crews worked to get rid of the infestation and its plans moving forward.

In that video Kirby High School's principal talks about a strong plan to make up lost time for students.

Shelby County Schools has not yet said what may have caused the pest infestation.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.