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Whiteland Elementary School opens, following water damage on first day

whiteland elementary
Posted at 9:56 AM, Jul 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-27 09:56:16-04

WHITELAND — Whiteland Elementary School welcomed students back to the classroom Thursday, after heavy rain dampened their first day.

Second grader Gabby was first in line to get into the building Thursday morning.

“All of the teachers are very nice," she said. “Also one of my best friends is sitting right at my desk."

Kids grades K through 5 were supposed to have their first day back on Wednesday.

But Clark Pleasant Community Schools officials say overnight rain Tuesday and on-going roof repairs at Whiteland Elementary put a halt in that.

“We had a little bit of water in our rooms, but it’s nothing that hasn’t been cleaned up and handled and we’re ready to go and excited to see the kids today," Kindergarten teacher Liz Breeden said.

Principal Brent Schmidt says the water damaged carpet, tiles, supplies, books, equipment, ceiling tiles and more.

“With the support of the district and our operations department, remediation crews came in and we got it all cleaned up. And actually right now, inside, with the exception of three classrooms, we’re ready to go," Schmidt said.

Classes in the impacted rooms will be temporarily relocated in other parts of the building.

Schmidt says everyone on staff pitched in to help out.

“We decorated their rooms. Put up supplies. Teachers pulled from their closets. Real collective effort," Schmidt said.

Schmidt says this community is no stranger to the effects weather damage can have.

“My team is resilient. With the tornado that came through last year, that was one point where we saw our resiliency and how this community comes together and supports each other," he said.

Clark Pleasant says they’ve received an overwhelming number of messages asking how folks can help the affected teachers or where they can donate supplies.

Schmidt says as of right now, they’re set for the start of the year and they’ll make an announcement when and how you can help out in the future.