Plan set for Racine's Mitchell School to resume classes

RACINE (WITI) -- Just one day after a fire gutted parts of Mitchell School in Racine, a plan has been put in place for students -- elementary students will resume class on March 5th. Middle school students are set to return March 18th.

Elementary students will return to class at Wind Point Elementary on the city's north side. The school had been closed and is being fixed up to accommodate students once again.

"People are working furiously. Our teachers have been very supportive and understanding," said Racine School District Superintendent Dr. Lolli Haws.

Parents were informed of the district's plans Friday afternoon, February 28th during a meeting at Park High School.

Fire ripped through the elementary school's gym Thursday morning, causing the roof to collapse. The school is closed indefinitely.

"Sometimes bad memories turn out to be good memories and, in the end, that's all we can hope for is that everything works out," said parent Connie Del Toro.

Mitchell Middle School principal Soren Gajewski says although the fire was devastating, he is feeling optimistic about the future.

"I think we're going to see a really nice, in a sense, a really nice end of the year with a bonding experience with all of us. I think that will benefit all of our kids," said Gajewski. "I can already tell from the teacher responses and the parents responses that we're all in this together and we're going to make for the best possible outcome this year."

Many still have questions about what the future will hold, including elementary art teacher Jeremy Topczewski, whose classroom was right next to the gym.

"It's going to be a lot different. I don't know if I'm going to be on a cart for art or if I'll have a room. I don't even know what supplies I am going to have or not have," said Topczewski. "We're all grieving about the loss and that, but it's also in some ways a good thing. It's really bringing us all a lot closer together."

In order to get students back into Mitchell, the building must pass a fire inspection and environmental testing. School leaders should know if that happens on Monday.