Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Plant City students diverted as possible sinkhole closes their elementary

PLANT CITY — Trapnell Elementary School was dark and quiet early Wednesday, with just two school officials and a security guard in the parking lot. They held a stack of maps to Gallagher Road's Strawberry Crest High and Bailey Elementary schools.

Officials closed Trapnell on Tuesday after a possible sinkhole was discovered beneath part of the campus over the weekend, near the administrative building and media center.

Parents and students were informed of the closing through news reports and automated phone calls from the principal.

It seemed to work.

No students or parents showed up Wednesday morning. Down the road, Trapnell students stood outside waiting for buses to take them to the other schools.

Sabetri Persad, 32, stood at Trapnell and Alafaya Creek streets with her 6-year-old daughter, Shivani, a Trapnell first-grader.

Persad said she heard about the closing on the news and got the phone call. "I think they're doing a great thing keeping the kids from being hurt," she said.

As the bus pulled up, Persad looked to Shivani and said, "It might be fun."

Shivani smiled and nodded before running onto the bus.

There were no classes Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Tuesday because of a teacher planning day.

Trapnell's 570 students are being sent to the new Strawberry Crest High School and Bailey Elementary School until officials determine it is safe to return. Engineers are still studying the underground void, which is not visible above ground. It might be a depression, officials say. A sinkhole is a depression accompanied by limestone erosion. Whatever it is, officials decided it was not safe to occupy the school for now.

Those in grades 3, 4 and 5 will attend classes at the high school, which has plenty of unused capacity, while the rest will attend Bailey.

Outside Strawberry Crest High School, at U.S. 92 W and Gallagher Road, several police officers were directing traffic around road construction.

High school students stood outside with signs showing elementary students the way. Trapnell guidance counselor Kristen Endris was with the students, helping direct children and talk to parents.

"I think they're just happy to have somewhere safe for their kids to go," she said. "We feel very welcome here."

Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies said no new sinkholes were reported overnight. Trapnell's depression is not far from one that opened on Sam Allen Road last week.

Plant City students diverted as possible sinkhole closes their elementary 01/20/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 11:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays make Hechavarria trade official

    Blogs

    Here is the release from the team ...

     

  2. Jones: Will Tampa Bay hit a Hall of Fame dry spell now?

    Lightning Strikes

    Marty St. Louis may lack the Hall of Fame stats, but two scoring titles, an MVP award and clutch goals should count for a lot. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
  3. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena

    Tourism

    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]
  4. Update: Scientology cancels planned mock FBI raid on downtown building

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The Church of Scientology planned to film a mock FBI raid on a downtown building Monday afternoon, but the actors and cameras never showed up to the location disclosed to the city.

    According to Clearwater Police, the Church of Scientology plans to hold a mock FBI raid at 3 p.m. Monday at this vacant building at 305 N Fort Harrison Ave. Police announced the raid in advance to alert the public. They said they did not know the reason for the event. [Google Earch image]
  5. Support for gay marriage surges, even among groups once wary

    Human Interest

    NEW YORK — In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey.

    People gather in Washington's Lafayette Park to see the White House lit up in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage legal. In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey released on Monday, June 26, 2017. [Associated Press]