|Updated: 8/19 12:36 pm
||Published: 8/19 11:08 am
Students are back in Union’s eighth grade center for the first time since a storm caused hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.
Back in July, FOX23 reported lightning sparked a fire there and crews have continued checking on the progress of repairs.
Principal Marla Robinson estimates those repairs were about 95% done Monday, but students and staff still had hurdles to overcome because of the damage.
“At first, of course, I was a little worried.”
Worried about how much damage was done, and whether it’d be fixed by the first day school, Desiree Taron says she didn’t know what to expect.
“You are obviously worried that your kid is going to be stuck in the building somewhere, in a make-shift classroom, or you never know what it’s going to be.”
To her surprise, and administrator’s relief, we found out repairs were nearly completed by the first day.
The principal told FOX23’s Janai Norman crews were worked late Sunday to finish, but that meant most students hadn’t stepped foot inside the building until Monday morning.
Eighth grader Gabrielle Taron said, “I’ve only looked at maps and class numbers.”
“They have no idea what they’re doing yet,” her mother adds.
The Taron’s said they had only a map of the building to rely on for navigating hallways.
“I’m probably going to pass friends in the hallway and be like, ‘hey have you seen this classroom?’”
We found out administrators made adjustments like giving students designated locker times and doubling passing periods to help overcome any first day jitters.
Principal Robinson says, “I think it’s vital that we give them the time they need to process the building, practice the building, practice their schedule, their locker, the one way halls, and all of those details.”
When we checked in with Principal Robinson Monday morning, she said it’s been a challenge getting to this point, with only six days to prepare the building for the first day. But says these few changes will help students in the long run.
“I think it’s really important to help ease their anxiety a little bit that we do everything we can to make them feel welcome and help them figure out how to maneuver the building.”