School district weighs options on where to send Kirby kids

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the next 6 to 8 weeks, more than 1,000 students in Memphis will have to be relocated after Kirby High School school was taken over by rats.

"Kirby is not closed," school Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said. "We are not shutting Kirby down."

But students could be looking at a short or long commute while the district scrambles to put kids back into their classrooms.

The district is looking into several locations to utilize as the school is being cleaned. One prospect at the top on their list is the Hickory Ridge Mall.

"The issue becomes, if we get space there, how long is it going to take to make that space where it can be a work environment? Is it a week, is it two weeks, is it three weeks?" Hopson said.

The school has not yet reached an agreement with the mall but says it would be the most ideal. It's about a six-minute commute from Kirby High School, but the problem could be how long the project would take.

Another prospect is South Side High School. It's another ideal location that would, for the most part, be prepared to go. But, it's about a 22-minute drive from Kirby.

"We could be in there occupied tomorrow but that's such a long bus ride," Hopson said.

The district is also looking at nearby old office buildings and neighboring charter schools. But that option would mean the school would have to split up by grade level.

Sports will operate as normal but they're working out a plan for after school activities. Bus drivers are working with the district hoping to map out a plan for their new routes.

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