Northwest Area calendar remains up in the air after high school fire

By Mark Guydish - [email protected]
Firefighters work to vent the roof near the main entrance of Northwest Area High School in Union Township during a two-alarm fire on Saturday afternoon. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

UNION TWP. — The impact on the school calendar following Saturday’s fire at the Northwest Area Middle School remained uncertain Monday.

School Principal Ryan Miner said insurance and fire inspectors needed to determine the extent of the damage were on scene Monday morning and that no decision would be made until they complete their work.

Up to 75 firefighters and more than 20 fire vehicles — including aerial trucks — from at least two counties responded to the building about 3 p.m. Saturday when a fire broke out, damaging classrooms on the second floor. Huntington Valley Fire Chief William Miller said the fire appeared to have started in the hallway and that the damage in two classrooms was significant, with additional smoke and water damage elsewhere in the building.

Miner said the insurance officials and others would evaluate the scope of the damage and likely report to district officials by the end of the day. He said administrators will likely meet Tuesday to review the findings and may make a determination regarding possible changes to the school calendar after that.

“There will be no decision today,” he said, noting the fire and insurance inspectors were at the school as of noon Monday. The calendar officially adopted by the School Board had next Monday, Aug. 27, as the first day of classes, preceded by two teacher in-service days this Thursday and Friday. The last day of school is set for June 6.

There are two vacation stretches that could be curbed to keep June 6 as the last day: a winter vacation from Dec. 24 through Jan. 2, and a spring vacation from April 19 through 26.

Firefighters work to vent the roof near the main entrance of Northwest Area High School in Union Township during a two-alarm fire on Saturday afternoon.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL081918NorthwestFire_4-4.jpgFirefighters work to vent the roof near the main entrance of Northwest Area High School in Union Township during a two-alarm fire on Saturday afternoon. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

By Mark Guydish

[email protected]

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish