Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Displaced by Plant City sinkhole, students return to Trapnell

PLANT CITY — The school buses pulled up to Trapnell Elementary School on Monday morning, just like they used to.

The students rushed off the bus to the waiting principal and faculty, high-fiving as they passed.

One little girl walked up to a guidance counselor, teary-eyed. She'd forgotten where her classroom was.

Another kid stepped off the bus and raised both his hands in the air.

"It's good to be back," he said.

For the first time since a sinkhole forced their evacuation in January, Trapnell students returned to their home school Monday morning.

The displaced younger students had been crammed into Bailey Elementary, while older kids occupied classrooms at Strawberry Crest High.

Alma Requena walked her 4-year-old daughter Julisa to class. Both mom and daughter were happy she's back to her usual school.

Julisa, a Head Start student, didn't like Bailey, even toward the end of her stay there, her mother said.

"She used to cry every morning," Requena said.

The 20-minute commute to Bailey also frustrated Requena. She had to drive Julisa to school for the first three weeks until the school arranged alternate transportation.

"That was a lot of gas," she said.

The return to Trapnell had its own issues, assistant principal Krissy Perkins said.

The teachers and students were given Monday to get reacclimated to their surroundings.

Teachers had about 10 minutes to set up their classrooms before the start of school, much like their rapid exit after the sinkhole scare.

"We came back in the way we left," Perkins said.

Special classes such as art, music and computer lab are back in Trapnell's curriculum. Administrators canceled those classes during the move, with teachers split between two schools.

As the school day continued on Monday, Perkins said she looked at her handbook all the time to remind herself of the changing schedule.

But principal Rhonda Pulling said the changes were easy to get used to, compared to their three-month exile.

"You step out, you hear the roosters crowing," she said. "It's just so nice to be home."

Hilary Lehman can be reached at hlehman@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2441.

Displaced by Plant City sinkhole, students return to Trapnell 04/19/10 [Last modified: Monday, April 19, 2010 9:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Warehouse burns on Tampa's east side

    News

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County emergency crews are at the scene of a two-alarm fire at a warehouse near 56th Street and East Hillsborough Avenue.

    Hillsborough County firefighters battle a blaze Thursday night at a warehouse on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]
  2. 'Dream big' drives Lightning's Conacher brothers

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Two words: Dream big.

    Cory Conacher includes them every time he signs an autograph for a young hockey fan.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher (89) on the ice during Lightning training camp in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17).
  3. Irma roughs up endangered snail kites, birds that help us gauge the Everglades' health

    Wildlife

    Hurricane Irma was as rough on some wildlife as it was on the humans. Audubon of Florida reported Thursday that the storm destroyed all 44 nests around Lake Okeechobee built by the endangered Everglades snail kite, a bird considered crucial to the River of Grass ecosystem.

    Hurricane Irma destroyed 44 snail kite nests, capping off a poor mating season for the endangered species, which is seen as an important barometer of the health of the Florida Everglades. Their off-center beaks allow them to probe inside the spiral shells of the native apple snails. But the snails' population has dropped as the Everglades has changed. [MAC STONE | Audubon of Florida]
  4. New center opens in Tampa to help those with missing, damaged limbs

    Veterans

    TAMPA — Justin Lansford, his service dog Gabe by his side, smiled broadly Thursday as he imagined the future of a sprawling, resource center for people who need artificial limbs and those interested in helping them.

    Justin Lansford, 27, lost his left leg above the knee in Afghanistan. He was one of dozens of people attending the opening of the Veterans International Institute of Orthotics & Prosthetics in Tampa on Thursday. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Staff]
  5. Still worried about family, Tampa Bay Puerto Ricans ramp up relief effort

    Hurricanes

    TAMPA — Brenda Irizarry is worried.

    Brenda Irizarry of Tampa, while agonizing over the status of family in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, is helping lead an effort to collect and send supplies to the island. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
]