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Plan to relocate students to various Unicoi County schools revealed in wake of sinkhole discovery at county elementary school

August 21st, 2012 2:00 pm by Brad Hicks

Plan to relocate students to various Unicoi County schools revealed in wake of sinkhole discovery at county elementary school

ERWIN — The Unicoi County Schools system has released the details of a relocation plan for Love Chapel Elementary School’s approximately 250 students.
Unicoi County Director of Schools Denise Brown said Monday that classes at Love Chapel were canceled for the remainder of the week following the Saturday morning discovery of a sinkhole around 30 feet from the school.
According to the school system’s relocation plan, Love Chapel Elementary students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade will relocate to Unicoi County Intermediate School. Students in 3rd grade will be relocated to Unicoi County Middle School. According to a release from Unicoi County Schools, the moves will take effect this Monday.
“The goal is to relocate and return to school by Monday, August 27, 2012,” the release states. “Both short and long term plans have been discussed, but the immediate needs are to educate our students.”
Students being relocated to the Intermediate School will be encompassed in one pod at Unicoi County Intermediate School, and 3rd grade students being relocated to Unicoi County Middle School will be located on the first floor of the school’s 7th grade wing. The release states both of these locations have been assessed by the school system’s bus transportation department which will allow affected Love Chapel students to continue their normal means of transportation. Traffic flow issues are being finalized and there will be a separate drop off at each school for all Love Chapel students, the release states.
A meeting for all Love Chapel parents has been scheduled for this Thursday at 6 p.m. and will be held in the Unicoi County Intermediate School gymnasium. Complete details of the relocation plan will be discussed and questions answered at the meeting.
The sinkhole near Love Chapel Elementary School was reported at around 9 a.m. Saturday by someone walking in the area. By the time crews had arrived to fill the sinkhole, it measured approximately 25 feet across and was more than 120 feet deep, according to Unicoi County Superintendent of Roads Terry Haynes.
Early Sunday morning, crews completed filling the sinkhole at Love Chapel, which is located around 300 feet from another sinkhole that opened under the swimming pool of a private residence last last year. Haynes said Tuesday that the sinkhole still appeared to be stable.

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