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Back to the classroom: Two schools damaged by Newnan tornado return to in-person classes in fall

The district said it plans to have additional portable classrooms and a temporary cafeteria available for Newnan High students.

NEWNAN, Ga. — Coweta County Schools released its plans Wednesday for Newnan High school students to return to in-person classes in August after a deadly EF-4 tornado ripped through the county. 

The board approved the plan in its meeting Tuesday to bring 10th through 12th grade students back to part of the school's campus in August, while 9th grade students will meet on a temporary campus at the Central Education Center campus. 

"Locating Newnan High students on both campuses will also minimize the impact to other schools next year," Superintendent Evan Horton said in a release. "Using both the NHS and CEC campuses will allow for adequate classroom space, and also suitable permanent space for storm sheltering if needed."

In a release, Coweta County School said there are 60 existing usable classrooms and 30 portable classrooms available for the 10th through 12th graders. The school said the portable classrooms located in the 9th grade parking lot.

Additionally, the release stated 9th graders will have the existing classrooms at the Central Educational Center along with 20 portable classrooms. The release said classes at the CEC will also continue without interruption. 

Both campuses will have access to a temporary cafeteria for all students. 

Newnan High School closed its campus on March 26 after the tornado cause extensive damage to the school's classrooms and facilities. Students moved to virtual learning on April 14 to finish the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. 

Coweta County Schools said engineers are still reviewing Newnan High's damage and will release a plan to fully restore the campus soon. 

The district said repairs have been underway at the high school's Drake Stadium and an on-campus graduation at the stadium will take place on Thursday, May 27, as planned. 

Coweta County Schools also announced Atkinson Elementary students will return to in-person classes in August after it was damaged in the March 26 tornado. The district said it has replaced the elementary school's roof and is working on its interior. 

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