A fire at the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Lifelong Learning Center in Waldorf destroyed the center’s classroom and caused cancellation of adult education classes on July 11 and 12. No one was injured in the fire.
Classes for students at the Lifelong Learning Center will resume at regular times on Monday, July 14, at John Hanson Middle School, which is located next to the center. School officials canceled adult education classes on Thursday, July 10, and Friday, July 11. During the transition from July 14-18, the Lifelong Learning Center is unable to offer childcare.
The Lifelong Learning Center housed the Charles County Adult Education Program, which offers a variety of daytime and evening classes for adults and includes preparation for a Maryland State High School Diploma, English as a Second Language, Basic Skills, Job Skills, and Citizenship classes. GED testing has been temporarily suspended. Adult education class and testing information will be posted on the CCPS website at www.ccboe.com and on the 24 hour information line at 301-934-7410 or 301-932-6656 as it becomes available.
Firefighters reported the cause of the Wednesday evening fire was a lightning strike to the program’s modular building during a heavy thunderstorm. According to staff members in the building at the time, they heard a loud noise, the electricity went off and they smelled smoke. Administrators and staff evacuated the building and called 9-1-1. The fire started around 6:15 p.m. Approximately 80 people were in the building and all were successfully and safely evacuated with no injuries reported.
More than 120 volunteer firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire, which continued well into the night. On Thursday, school officials were assessing the damage to the building and developing both short- and long-term plans for the Lifelong Learning Center and adult education classes.
Superintendent Kimberly Hill said she was thankful no one was hurt in the fire and appreciated the efforts of the many volunteers who worked through the evening and into the night to contain the fire.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.