Kirby High set to reopen after rat infestation

Kirby High set to reopen after rat infestation

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Kirby High School is set to reopen months after a rat infestation closed the school.

Kirby was shut down in September over the rat infestation. More than 800 students were displaced and sent to three SCS campuses while the building underwent renovations.

New furniture, upgraded technology and fresh paint has all been added as a part of Kirby High School's new look.

The projected cost of the restoration project was $2 million.

Dr. Steevon Hunter is anxious for the re-opening.

"So excited for the kids. Can't wait to see the looks on their faces and the smiles when they walk back into this space," said Hunter.

As principal, he wants to assure students, families and teachers that things will go back to normal.

“Any type of area where there could be a possibility for any type of animal to go through that’s been taken care of,” said SCS Chief of Communications Natalia Powers.

Kirby High School set to reopen after rat infestation

Before starting any renovations, SCS officials said Kirby High had to be cleared of all rodents. They worked with vendors to do that.

They also added new pest control positions within the district.

"I think we added six positions or we have a total of six positions now so their job is to wake up everyday and think about what do we do to protect all of our buildings from something like this happening," said Powers.

During the closing of Kirby High, students were placed at other schools including Kirby Middle School.

Dr. Hunter said all students are still on track as far as school work.

"Nothing changed about their academic tracks. Nothing changed about their credits. Everything was still going forward. They were still enrolled in the same classes," said Hunter.

School officials hope the newly re-modeled Kirby Cafe, the furniture added to all classrooms and the upgrades to technology will show that they are invested in Kirby High School.

The greenhouse, which is where the rodent infestation happened, has also been taken down.

SCS officials said they are working to build another one that will be detached from the school.

Shelby County Schools will give parents a chance to visit the repaired school Friday ahead of its re-opening on Monday.

Parents will be able to see the school Friday between 3 and 6 p.m.

Kirby will also host a basketball game after the open house at 7 p.m. featuring a special guest at halftime.

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