Danville School's Flood Damage Extensive | News
Some schools in our area are ready to reopen, nearly a week after the flood, but students, teachers and administrators in the Danville Area School District are preparing for what will likely be a different and difficult school year now that the waters have receded.
Danville Middle School teachers are busy emptying boxes, hanging signs, trying to make their new classrooms feel like home. They said they will teach the district's seventh and eighth graders at the old Danville Elementary School indefinitely.
The Middle School sits along Mahoning Creek. It was flooded last week after there was a breach in Danville's levee system.
"The teachers were overwhelmed, those that were able to see the damage. The maintenance staff did a great job packing up their rooms, but they are devastated," said Danville Area Superintendent Cheryl LaTorre.
She added the district had flood insurance, but it won't cover all of the damage totaling in the millions.
Fans are pumping air into the building non-stop to begin to dry it out. School officials said last week the auditorium was eight feet underwater. Most classrooms had almost two feet of flood water.
Teachers and students have not been let inside. The soaked contents of desks and lockers are being cleaned out.
"I actually got my social studies and language arts books and that's actually, it," said Danville Area seventh grader Brittany Kipple.
She said she and her classmates were shocked to see their school underwater.
"It was crazy, because the water almost came up to the second floor, then I heard we have to go to D.E.S. for the rest of the year and I'm going to miss the middle school," said seventh grader Dana Murphy.
"It's going to be a little hard because I've never gone to school there before," said Kipple.
School administrators hope to receive money from the state, but in an already tight budget year, they are also looking for assistance locally from charities.
"The secretary of education has personally called. We just want to keep school as normal as possible, but we are going to look for every resource to rebuild," said LaTorre.