Students at the Vernon Malone College and Career Academy will return to class Wednesday, but they’ll temporarily attend other locations while their Raleigh campus undergoes repairs from damage caused by Hurricane Matthew.
The small specialized Wake County high school has been closed since last week due to flooding damage that cost students four days of classes and resulted in fall break being extended. In a message posted online Sunday, Principal Ashlie Thompson told parents that “because of the extent of the damage to VMCCA, we are unable to return to our school at this time.”
Starting Wednesday, freshmen and sophomore will go to the former Wakefield High School ninth-grade center at 931 Durham Road in Wake Forest. Juniors and seniors will go to one of four sites depending on what specialized Wake Technical Community College program they were studying.
Bus stops haven’t changed, but shuttle buses will transport riders from Southeast Raleigh High School to the new locations instead of the main campus.
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School times for freshmen and sophomores will change from 7:25 a.m. to 2:18 p.m. to 7:55 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. due to the longer shuttle bus ride. Times for juniors and seniors will vary based on which location they’ll attend.
Vernon Malone opened in August 2014 in a renovated Coca-Cola bottling plant at 2200 S. Wilmington St. in Raleigh. It’s a partnership between the Wake County school system and Wake Tech.
Students can graduate with a high school diploma and training in eight specialized areas taught by instructors from Wake Tech. Program offerings include automobile-collision repair, cosmetology, welding, nursing assistant, bio-pharmaceuticals, simulation and game development, applied engineering and multi-trades, which covers air conditioning, electrical and plumbing.
The damage from Matthew led the entire Wake County school system to close Oct. 10 as a number of schools were without power. But even though the other 176 schools reopened Tuesday, Malone has remained closed.