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Local Church Steps In To Help Clean Up Oklahoma City School Before Opening

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The rush is on to improve a struggling Oklahoma City elementary school that was once marked for closure.

This week, volunteers from nearby Bridgeway Church have been cleaning the inside the North Highland Elementary School and adding landscaping to the outside area.

"It wasn’t looking great, so we just said, 'how can we help?'" said Pastor Andy Edwards.

Last month, Oklahoma City school district officials considered closing North Highland Elementary due to a lack of a principal and staff.

Neighbors rallied against the possible closure, and the district eventually decided against it.

The back and forth has ruffled feathers for some school board members and Oklahoma City Councilman John Pettis.

North Highland Elementary is in John Pettis’s Ward 7. The councilman strongly voiced opposition to closing the school.

During Monday’s School Board meeting, board chairwoman Paula Lewis criticized Pettis.

"Councilman Pettis is constantly fighting with us, arguing against us," said Lewis.

On Tuesday, Pettis fired back.

“I will never apologize for doing my job. My frustration is that what you tell me behind closed doors should always be the same as what you tell the public,” said Pettis.

Meanwhile, volunteers hope to have North Highland Elementary ready by the end of the week for students.

The district tells us the school is still looking for another teacher and assistant principal.

The new OKCPS school year starts August 1.

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