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Charred Denton School Rallies Parents, Staff To Move Forward

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DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Five days after a fire tore through the campus’s main building, mounds of tangled wood and warped metal are still common sights at the Selwyn College Preparatory School.

But those grim reminders aren’t keeping school leaders from meeting with parents and students in the school’s gym Monday evening. Classes have been canceled for the past three days, but officials are vowing to re-open the doors immediately.

The faculty says it’s time to move forward and use the tragedy as an opportunity for betterment at the nearly 55-year-old school.

“We’re going to open up regular time tomorrow,” said David Biles, chairman of the school’s board of trustees. “Same routine for our students and faculty. We want to keep everything as normal as possible.”

The main building housed administrative offices and classrooms for Kindergarten through fifth grade. Although it is a tragedy, the timing of the fire may have been on the school’s side.

“There were no students or faculty on campus yet so fortunately we did not have that safety concern,” said Biles.

The Denton Independent School District plans to loan the private school six portable buildings. Other structures that housed middle and high school students will help hold classes for the younger students who lost their primary facility.

Fire investigators were back on the scene Monday looking for answers as to what started the blaze.

A specially trained K-9 was brought in to sniff out any signs of arson –– so far it doesn’t appear to be intentional.

“There are preliminary indications that this has got be an accident. There’s no concern about foul play,” Biles said.

The private, paid tuition school has been in the Denton community for more than 50 years. Parents and school officials alike say there are countless memories connected to that charred building.

While Biles is the board of trustees’s chairman, he’s also a dad with two daughters who attend Selwyn. His youngest went to class in the building that burned to the ground.

“The day of the fire she came up to me and gave me a hug and said ‘Daddy my favorite winter coat is burned up in my locker,’ so you got to reach out and give her a hug and tell her its going to be OK,” he said.

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