Recovery Plans Being Made for La Plata Elementary

December 04, 2023

The Macon County Home

Press reached out to the La

Plata School District as to the

recovery plans to continue the

classes for the Elementary

students after the fire at the

school. In an interview with

School Superintendent Rick

Roberts, he was able to an-

swer some questions for the


“Classes will start on Tues-

day at the Baptist Church, by

7:30 on Friday morning we

had a plan in place. We con-

tacted the Baptist Church, and

they were gracious enough to

allow us to use the facility. We

are going to get going (Tues-

day). We are going to have an

open house on Monday (Dec

4th) from 5 to 6:30 so that kids

and parents can come in and

see where they are going to be

for a while.”

When asked about what

classes will be held at the

church “We are going to have

pre-school-will still be at the

preschool building at the old

location. The sixth grade will

be at the High School as well

as one section of the fifth

grade. Everyone else will be

at the Baptist Church.” When

asked if their was any consid-

eration to operating the class-

es remotely, “Oh, not in

this day and age, maybe with

someone else as Superinten-

dent but not me, I think its

important kids are in classes,

school is a safe place for a lot

of kids and I think that’s what

we missed out mostly during

covid that is not having them

with people that care about

them and want the best thing

for them. Sometimes it’s the

only solid place kids can go”

When asked about contact-

ing the Elementary school for

anything in the normal opera-

tion of the school such as call-

ing in sick for a student “We

are going to work through the

High School, through the High

School number (660-332-

7001). We still need to work

with the phone company to

see if we can get that number

rerouted at a certain point but

for now, they need to contact

the High School.”

Mr. Roberts wanted to relay

some information on the bus

routes, “We are going to have

certain routes for the busses

to come in and out as well

as parents to drop off. That

is on our website (https:// We

are also going to contact the

parents to make sure they are

aware of what’s going on as

best we can with all that we

have going on.”

On Security at the Church,

“The doors obviously lock (at

the church) and we are going

to keep everyone as tight as

normal. We have also asked

the City Police to have a pres-

ence there in the morning and

afterschool so that we can re-

ceive and get out safely.”

When asked about the pro-

cess of getting the building

back to being occupied. “We

are working with the insurance

company this week and Serv-

pro out of Kirksville is working

on the mitigation of things to

start the process of getting

them back in as soon as pos-

sible. But its going to be a pro-

cess and will take some time.

We hope to get everyone back

in the building as soon as pos-

sible. The hope is that they

will be able to build temporary

walls to wall off that area like

anytime you have construc-


When asked about and per-

sonal items that students

might have had at the school

at the time of the fire “At this

point and time they don’t want

anyone in the building. Unless

it is a dire need of some sort

or something, everything is

off limits at this time. Due to

the amount of smoke and any

possible carcinogens in the

air; until we get the air quality

in the building back to where

it needs to be we are going to

keep as many people out of

the building as possible.”

When asked about students

being able to keep items at

the church during the time

that classes are being held

there. “As far as we know at

this time there will be plenty of

room to take back and forth

what they need.”

Superintendent Roberts

said the support the school

has received, has “been

amazing, people supported

us almost immediately, there

were people putting things

out to get help for monetary

support and such things. We

have heard from almost every

community and school dis-

tricts from within 100 miles

of us. Administrators and dif-

ferent organizations, it’s just

been amazing how during a

bad time just how good peo- ple can be. And how gener- ous people are. We are very

thankful for that. At this point

in time if anyone wants to

donate something, monetari- ly they can send a check to

the school, just make sure to

notate on the check “fire do- nation” otherwise there have

been all kinds of things, ma- terials and supplies but at this

point and time we don’t know

exactly what we need until

we get into it a little ways. It’s

been amazing.” The school’s

address is La Plata R-II 201 W

Moore St. La Plata MO 63549

“The Firefighters were amaz- ing the other night on how

they contained it and kept it

from spreading, we had some

high school boys that are a

big part of that too that were

there and did a great job. All

those guys need to be patted

on the back, when you’re in a

volunteer situation it’s amaz-

ing how people come togeth-

er there as well. We just ap-

preciate all that they did and

the speed of which it hap-

pened; it does not take long

with a big fire like that, that

things can get out of control

pretty quick.”

The Home Press also asked

about people driving by

to view the damage to the

school. “We have had too

many people driving through

and looking and we have

been trying to cordon off. I

know its human nature for

people to want to see but we

would appreciate if people

stayed away and let those

people working to get things

dome as soon as possible.

We don’t want any hindrance

on getting the work done. We

just need people to know that

people stay away from the