Cain will reopen Monday, superintendent says

Darlington, SC - DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Cain Elementary school in Darlington is set to reopen Monday, just eight days after a tornado ripped through the Pee Dee town and damaged the school.

Darlington County School District Superintendent Dr. Rainey Knight said building No. 1 and 2 would reopen May 3; however, they will not be able to reoccupy building No. 3 at this time. Knight commented students and teachers will double up to make the available space work.

School officials must wait for a structural inspection of building No. 3 before allowing students back into those specific classrooms.

"We certainly wanted to make sure the buildings were safe and secure and we were going with the wishes of the teachers and children. They wanted to be back in their school, so we can make that happen," said Knight.

Since Sunday's tornado, Cain Elementary students have been attending makeshift classes at the First Baptist Church. While the classrooms may be a change of scenery, school administrators say the learning hasn't stopped.

"I've been able to keep kindergarten together, first grade together and 2nd grade together," said Wanda Odom, principal of Cain Elementary. "That has meant a lot to me to have all my children in one spot with all of their friends. I think it has made it more comfortable for them."

School officials say staff members have been transporting the necessary tools and supplies to the First Baptist Church to prevent any transitional problems.

Odom says the church was the best solution for the 340 students who call Cain Elementary home. The building had enough space, a place to feed the children and playground equipment for the children to have recess on.

Parents are expected to receive a notice over the weekend to remind them of Monday's reopening of Cain Elementary off of First Street in Darlington.

Darlington County Schools spokeswoman Audrey Childers said Sunday's storms and damage forced the closure of several schools. Both Cain Elementary and Mayo High School for Math, Science & Technology sustained damage from the storms.

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