NEWS

Officials hope Oliver, B.C., students back in class Monday

09/13/2011 05:00 EDT | Updated 11/13/2011 05:12 EST

School officials in Oliver, B.C. say they hope to have students back in class early next week.

Southern Okanagan Secondary School was largely destroyed by flames in a fire that started before 2 a.m. PT Monday. Fire gutted the older south and east wings, and the historic Frank Venables auditorium.

The school was in the final stages of a two-year $29-million renovation. Firefighters were able to save parts of the school and a firewall prevented the new addition from burning.

About 500 teachers and students are out of their classrooms. School District 53 superintendent Bev Young said she hopes to keep the school together on the existing site.

"That may mean on site with some portables and accessing some of the building again. That is our hope right now. That is what we are investigating."

Young said she's working to get students back to class by Monday.

School officials and trustees met Tuesday to firm up their plan for getting the students back to school.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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