Officials back up perfect score on health inspection, school remains closed for rodent problems

WATCH: Officials back up perfect score on health inspection, school remains closed for rodent problems

SHELBY CO., Tenn. — Shelby County Schools said they expect Friday to be the last day Kirby High School is closed because of rodent problems.

SCS told FOX13 the school will be closed again Friday as crews continue to work to “complete the deep cleaning and renovation process inside the building.”

Officials closed Kirby for the past three days because of the rodent infestation. Students and faculty are expected to be back in the building Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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Crews are still “working with the health department to make sure the entire campus environment meets all standards for health and safety,” officials told FOX13.

They are using the extended holiday weekend to complete the clean-up and all final inspections before Tuesday.

However, questions are still being raised about the school’s most recent health inspection. Inspectors gave Kirby a perfect score just days before the shutdown.

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The health department director and manager of environmental health and food safety told FOX13 when their crews went in on Aug. 14, there was no evidence of a rodent problem.

She was confident about that.

"When an inspection is made, there's a form that's used, it's a standardized form and that form creates the score," said SCHD director Dr. Alisa Haushalter.
their crews went back to the school Tuesday.  That's when they noticed a problem.

“Clearly there was evidence of infestation, they've been working to address that,” Haushalter said.

FOX13 asked the health department to explain how the problem was not noticed the first time.

“That was right at the start of the school year, and at the time that the inspector was there, there was no evidence of rodents at that time,” said Casia Smith-Alexander, manager of environmental health and food safety. “Complaints called into our office, there was none of that was going on, it was just a routine inspection that was conducted at that time in the cafeteria.”

While Governor Bill Haslam was in Memphis, we asked him about the rodent problem.

“Obviously, if I’m a parent at that school I have very high expectations that this is unacceptable, and I think this is how they feel, we stand ready to help in any way we can – for us our funding part is according to the Counties responsible for the building,” he said.