RPS leaders insist Summer Hill Elementary cleanup will be complete before school starts

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Several Richmond pre-school teachers said they found out Monday they would no longer be teaching at Westover Hills Elementary School and would instead be moving to the shuttered Summer Hill Elementary school.

"We were shocked and surprised," said Pre-K teacher, Saundra Donahoo.

School leaders said it was an emergency decision made last week to move Pre-K students from six schools because of overcrowding in Richmond's Southside.

However, some teachers have expressed concerns with the quick move and worry it won't be ready in time for school since the building was closed in 2014.

"Cleanliness, health issues, just us walking around we already have a headache," said Susan Revenson-Hawes, a Pre-K teacher who will be in the Summer Hill building.

RPS Assistant Superintendent Tommy Kranz said he understands these concerns, but said everything will be ready by Aug. 29.

Kranz invited WTVR CBS 6 and other teachers to tour the school Thursday morning to show what progress had been made.

"Is it going to be a challenge for us to have it ready by the 29th? Yes," said Kranz, "It doable? Yes."

Toilets and water fountains will be replaced and overgrown weeds will be cut back.

Additionally, some ceiling tiles will also need to be replaced.

Kranz said he wants to have an open dialogue with teachers on the progress. He asked the teachers on the tour Thursday to give him a list of anything they will need for the upcoming year.

"That was a really great opportunity that I don't think we would have gotten," said Revenson-Hawes.

After the tour, and seeing the building, the teachers we spoke to said they will now have a message for others who may be worried.

"We're feeling a little bit better and we're just going to try to ease their pain," said Donahoo.