One month ago today the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences was in flames. The night sky was bright as fire jumped up to 150 feet in the air while destroying the building and nearly 100% of its contents.
Standing across the street as their school burned, students were devastated. “It’s like the worst day ever” one told KRMG news. A young lady stood in tears as she said “It breaks my heart it really does, it’s like watching your house burn.”
But just a few weeks later and in a new building, the kids had a brand new outlook “this is starting to feel like home, great school” Mattie told us.
Eric Doss is the man in charge at TSAS “we’re back to having classes, it’s been three weeks of normal classes” he told KRMG as we stood in the hallway of the old Sequoyah elementary.
Eric, the staff, and especially the students are settling in well but there are still moments of realizing there are things left undone “yesterday it was power strips, we realized there wasn’t a power strip in the building” he laughed as he gestured around the building.
One look at the old school would lead you to believe there was nothing that could have been saved but you would be wrong. “We were able to get all of the musical instruments out of the old building” Eric began. “A few of them had been water damaged but most were just smoke damaged.” That wasn’t the only good news “we also got the music library out as well.” He finished.
For now TSAS is happy in their building but Eric isn’t sure yet what may happen next year. “We started talking with TPS about that but we’re still in a little bit of survival mode” Doss noted.
But the people involved at TSAS have made it clear that the physical building isn’t important, the people are the spirit is. Mattie summed it up best “I just think that it’ll be good, a great year, great year.”
A fundraiser has been set up for TSAS, you can read about it in the release below,
TSAS Rises, One Month After Fire
One month ago, a fire destroyed the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences’ (TSAS) new home at Barnard Elementary. In the weeks since, TSAS has moved into a new building and has begun to rebuild with a lot of work from the teachers and students, and support from businesses and individuals all over Tulsa.
Eric Doss “We are extremely grateful to the entire Tulsa community over the past month for stepping in during our time of need, the school has received donations of school and office supplies, books, and even furniture over the past month that has helped us on the road to recovery but we are a long way from replacing everything. ”
To help TSAS on the road to recovery, the Tulsa Community Foundation announced the “Phoenix Fund”, a grant that will match, dollar for dollar, donations up to $93,750. As of today, a total of nearly $55,000 (58%) now stands towards the match total goal, this money will be used to replace IT equipment and other school needs. Information about how to support the Phoenix Fund can be found at the school’s website http://tsas.org.
While the school lost nearly everything in the fire, one of the few things rescued were band and orchestra instruments. On October 6th, as part of the Guthrie Green concert series the TSAS jazz combo will be performing along with local musicians Jesse Aycock, Desi & Cody, and Vandevander. Music is scheduled to begin in the early evening around 6pm. The concert is free and open to all ages and members of the TSAS-Foundation will be on hand to take donations to the Phoenix Fund.
The Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences (TSAS) is a public charter school serving grades 9-12. Founded in 2001 as the city's first charter high school, TSAS is located at 3441 E Archer Street, Tulsa, OK. Enrollment is approximately 300 students. The TSAS mission is to provide a liberal arts, college preparatory curriculum through innovative teaching methods focused on developing the individual.