Pest-infested high school will be shut down for ‘as long as it takes’

Rats, snakes, and roaches have been cleaned up at the school

Pest-infested high school will be shut down for ‘as long as it takes’

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Kirby High School will be shut down once again for cleaning, and this time it could take much longer to finish the job.

The school has been plagued with rats, roaches, and snakes. The pests forced the school to close Tuesday, August 28. It remained closed until Tuesday, September 4.

On September 4 the school reopened, following a $20,000 clean up effort to eliminate the pests. Unfortunately, the next day school leaders announced the school would have to close again.

District officials announced Thursday that the school would not be able to safely reopen any time soon.

Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said he expected the school to be closed for another six to eight weeks. SCS expects the new repair bill to be around $70,000.

"We had a natural disaster,” Hopson said.

Hopson spoke to a room filled with parents, students and teachers from Kirby High School on Thursday afternoon. The meeting had to be held at Hickory Ridge Middle School.

"We’re not going back to Kirby until the issue is fixed. We also have an opportunity to make investments at Kirby,” Hopson said.

“The best thing they can tell me is they found the nest and so we’re shutting down the school to get it all out of the building,” said parent Helen Collins.

Kirby High closed for remainder of semester

It’s unclear at this time where Kirby High School students will attend school while their school building is being cleaned. Relocation suggestions include Hickory Ridge Mall and Southside High School.

“I’m serious about my grades no matter,” said 10th grader Micah Williams. “Anything that could happen, I wish could happen.”

SCS would like to keep all of the students together, but that might not be possible. All of the students and teachers will be offered transportation.

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.

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

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