Update, 3:05 p.m.: Albany Music & Sound in Albany and Gracewinds Music in Corvallis, are accepting donated instruments for the South Albany band program. If instruments need servicing, both businesses are offering financial discounts.
Update, 1:30 p.m.: South Albany High School will have a safe room open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday. Students who wish to talk with a counselor may do so in Building 11, which is the technology building. In-service will be held in the same building on Friday.
Update, 1:40 p.m.: Gov. Kate Brown spent about an hour at South Albany High School Wednesday. She met with district officials, police and fire staff and students. “The destruction is horrible and will certainly affect the community, but they will rebuild and survive,” Brown said. When asked if the state will play a role, Brown said, “The superintendent knows she has state support and if we can provide any assistance, we will do that.”
Update, 1:45 p.m.: South Albany students have created encouraging posters and presented two of them to firefighters. Two others will be placed inside the school.
Update, 12:30 p.m.: Gov. Kate Brown is on the scene at South Albany High School, inspecting the damage from this morning's fire.
Update, 11:35 a.m.: Gov. Kate Brown is reportedly going to visit South Albany High at noon today.
Update, 11:20 a.m.: There will be no classes at South Albany on Thursday, according to Superintendent Maria Delapoer. There also won't be any classes on Friday because it is an in-service day.
Update, 11:10 a.m.: All events, including a track meet scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, have been postponed. Rescheduling and practice information is not yet available. The school district hopes to be able to make up events on Thursday, depending on accessibility.
Update, 10:50 a.m.: A GoFundMe website soliciting donations for South Albany has been taken down. Public advised at this point to funnel donations through Albany Public Schools Foundation only.
Update, 10:45 a.m.: The Albany Public Schools Foundation is setting up a fund for donations for the programs that lost materials in Wednesday morning's fire. The Foundation has said it will give 100 percent of donations to the school. Call 541-979-2773, or email the development director at email@example.com. The iCelebrate Kids Benefit, scheduled for April 18, will make South Albany its focus.
Update, 10:15 a.m.: Programs that have lost supplies include band, choir, dance, cheer, prom and Leadership. The Family and Consumer Studies Program, which is adjacent to the burned building, may also have lost materials, but that is not confirmed. Head cheer coach Courtney Marstall said her team lost its practice classroom and all its mats and likely will organize a fundraiser to replace them.
Update, 10:10 a.m.: School district says elementary schools covered for lunches today. Memorial and West Albany packed 500 sack lunches to cover. Community organizations such as Costco, Target, National Guard, in addition to private citizens, are offering assistance.
Update, 10:05 a.m.: South Albany students plan to gather at South Albany High football field today at noon.
More than 70 firefighters from throughout the mid-valley attacked a four-alarm blaze at South Albany High School Wednesday morning.
Maria Delapoer, superintendent for the Greater Albany Public Schools, said South Albany Principal Brent Belveal called her about 4 a.m. The fire is believed to have started about 3:20 a.m. and has destroyed the kitchen, cafeteria, band and choir rooms.
Classes have been cancelled for today, but Delapoer said her staff will be discuss how to hold classes Thursday, as well as how to get meals to elementary schools whose lunch programs were prepared by the South Albany kitchen.
South Albany serves about 700 children on its own campus. The student body numbers about 1,300 students.
The South Albany cafeteria also serves seven Waverly, Oak, Clover Ridge, Lafayette, Sunrise, SouthShore, Periwinkle elementary schools, as well as the Albany Boys and Girls Club dinner and the community after school programs at Clover Ridge, Periwinkle and Lafayette.
Cook manager Lauri Robinson said getting meals to the Boys and Girls Club and the community after school program will be a problem today.
“The sad thing is all the commodities for the district are in my building,” Robinson said. “This is insane. I just can’t even believe this.”
There were no injuries.
It’s unknown at this time if there is any damage to other buildings on campus.
Albany police are investigating a report of separate fire on Del Rio about the same time. The call came in as a car on fire, but it’s unknown at this time if there is any connection to the South Albany fire.