Classes resume after fire at St. Petersburg High | News
St. Petersburg, Florida -- Students at St. Petersburg High enjoyed an extra day off this holiday weekend after a fire in the school's auditorium forced school officials to cancel classes on Friday.
Students returned to school this morning.
Damage assessments are underway now and are estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most of the damage is water and smoke related.
"The projection room is destroyed, the sound board and lighting, the electrical board is destroyed and has to be replaced, but we were lucky," said Al Bennett, principal at St. Petersburg High.
The school and its auditorium are unique. Built in 1926, the building is on the National Register of Historic Sites.
"When you walk into the auditorium, you know it's very unique, you don't see many auditoriums like that in any school or any performing auditorium in the nation," Bennett told 10 News.
Bennett says the damage to the historic building could have been worse and credited fire fighters for their quick work to put out the fire.
Fire investigators believe the fire started in the roof area where a roofing company was making repairs a few hours earlier.
"We're going to try and start the repairs as soon as possible and we're going to work hard to get it back to its original state as soon as possible," said Bennett.
He thanked the community and local churches for their outpouring of support during the last few days. Some churches even offered to let the school use their auditoriums as repairs are made at the school.
Bennett hopes repairs will be complete with a couple of months.