Seniors at Woodburn High School returned to the classroom Monday for the first time since a fire broke out in the building earlier this month.
Three 15-year-old boys were charged with first degree arson in the fire. That's a Measure 11 crime, that carries a mandatory sentence of more than seven years in prison.
Jennifer Dixon is the principal of the Woodburn Arts and Communications Academy. That's one of the schools that make up Woodburn High. She described the damage to the school.
"There are multiple rooms that are completely destroyed. There's no ceiling, there's basically bare cinderblock walls that have been completely cleaned out and emptied. There's a section of 6 or 7 classrooms that are in that state. in addition, because of the extent of the fire, and the multiple water cannons that were running for well over an hour, there was significant water damage in large areas of the buildings, that's the new dry wall where the dry wall had to be cut up to dry the walls behind. Finally, every area of the main building was affected by smoke, so you've got multiple levels of damage that were going on."
|Woodburn High School Fire Aftermath - Photos by John Rosman|
Dixon and others talked about the fire with Dave Miller, the host of OPB's Think Out Loud, at the school.
Jordan Shepherd is a senior, who returned to class for the first time Monday. He described what happened the day of the fire.
"I was in the science room in my IB biology class, which is international baccalaureate biology, just a higher level, and we were talking about the lab we were doing and the fire alarm went off, and we all looked at our teacher, because normally teachers know when it's planned, and she says well this isn't planned, it might be real. We all were joking about it, and I saw my friend grabbing his stuff and it's just 'This is just a fire drill, we'll all be back in a little while.' And he said 'I always grab all my stuff just in case,' and we go out there and it turned out to be real, and I was the one without stuff."
Dave Miller: "So you didn't grab your stuff."
Jordan Shepherd: "No, I left it in the room thinking it was a drill."
Dave Miller: "What did you leave behind"
Jordan Shepherd: "Everything. I keep everything in my backpack, all my textbooks, all my work, all my supplies. So whatever wasn't saved on a computer was in the biology room."