A large tree fell on Christ the King School’s building in Buckhead just 10 minutes before parent carpools were due to arrive on Aug. 26 for the school day, but no one was hurt and students still attended classes, though some had to move to other parts of the school.
When Principal Peter Schultz arrived at the school at 46 Peachtree Way NE at 7:05 a.m., he said, the tree looked to be leaning. He spoke to the director of facilities who agreed that it was leaning closer to the building. The school had just gotten permission to take the tree down because of its condition after city of Atlanta officials inspected it on Aug. 24. Work crews were scheduled to remove the tree on Aug. 29.
Ten minutes later, Schultz was in his office when a staff member came to his office and told him the tree had fallen on the roof of the school.
“Fortunately, none of the kids had come in yet,” he said.
The carpool to drop students off at the school hadn’t started yet. He said that made it easier to shift the students on the first and second floors underneath the tree to other places in the school, including to the cafeterias in the K-5 building and in the Hyland Center, unused as students don’t take lunch in them with COVID-19, the media center and the multi-purpose room.
The classrooms and their windows did not sustain damages, though shingles on the roof have been knocked loose and damage where the tree hit can be seen.
A contractor had the tree removed and cut up by 12:30 p.m. A tarp was being put over the damaged area to protect from leaks.
No one entered the classrooms that were affected until after it was cleared, Schultz said.
“Everything is back and running, thank the Lord,” he said.
Students will be back in their regular classrooms on Aug. 27.
“Now in front of our school you can just see the remnants of it,” Schultz said. “Quite a way to start your day, but it worked out just fine.”
The school teaches students in grades K-8 and was founded in 1937. Schultz said 570 students are enrolled at the private Roman Catholic school this year.
The school year began on Aug. 12 for students with everyone wearing masks and social distancing imposed.