Opp Head Start to reopen today

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Opp Head Start will open its doors again today and officials say the building has been proven safe for asbestos.

The facility closed week before last with officials citing demolition of nearby “derelict buildings.”

Ron Holliman, Head Start director, said that the demolition of part of the old South Highlands Elementary School, which houses Head Start, was not to start until the end of the school year.

The Opp Board of Education approved the demolition last fall.

Opp City Schools Superintendent Michael Smithart said Monday that the system contracted with Environmental Materials Consultants to perform testing of the SHES site.

“The air-quality testing reveals no asbestos structures around or in the building currently occupied by Head Start,” he said. “We took this action to reassure the public and families of Head Start students that their school was and continues to be a safe environment to attend.”

Smithart said she stands behind his original statement.

“Also, I stand behind my initial statement that this dilemma was a misrepresentation of the situation and that Opp Schools does not have the authority nor the desire to close a Head Start on event a temporary basis. We are excited the students will return to school tomorrow.”