RACINE (WITI) -- Demolition is now underway at Racine's Mitchell Elementary School after fire damaged significant parts of the building -- including the school's gym.
Fire ripped through the elementary school’s gym on Thursday, February 27th — causing the roof to collapse. Other parts of the school were damaged by smoke and water.
As crews worked on Wednesday morning, people from the community watched.
“History is being torn down this morning,” said Brenda Andrews, whose daughter used to go to Mitchell, “a lot of students will remember this, parents also. It`s a neighborhood school.”
“I spent some time in the school, you know at parent teacher conferences and concerts and that sort of thing,” said Naida Keech who’s children went to Mitchell, “it’s really just very sad.”
Even though it was hard for many people to watch, the demolition is a necessary step in moving forward.
“We promised the school we would have them back up and functional by the 17th and that time frame becomes very short when you have to do the amount of work we have to do,” said J. Murphy with Paul Davis National, the company in charge of the demolition as well as the rehabilitation of the rest of the school. The middle school side of the school is almost ready for kids to return thanks to the efforts of about 600 people a day, and around the clock work.
“We`re getting it cleaned, painted, ready for kids,” said Murphy, “All of the cleaning crews, painting crews, flooring people, duct cleaners, ceiling people, electricians, plumbers will all be working up until the last minute.”
Mitchell Middle School students will return on Monday, March 17th. Then crews will begin work on the elementary side of the school. Those students won't return until next year. They’re finishing the rest of their school year at Wind Point Elementary School.