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School rehab will take time

Walterille School = months of work

WALTERVILLE: For the second time in over 20 years, flooding has closed the Walterville Elementary School, Unlike the high water event that occurred in 1996 this year’s flood has resulted in extensive damage.

On site inspections have shown that up to 6 inches of water pooled in the building, mainly in the office, administration area, library and some classrooms. During their January 16th meeting, the district school board voted unanimously to approved a request for a formal Declaration of Emergency to restore the school.

Examinations of the damage led to the decision to remove anything porous that had come in contact with the water. Those items go beyond wall coverings and insulation and include everything from wooden desks to bookcases or from personal belongs or cabinets.

The flooding entered the property after nearby Potter Creek overflowed its banks to the east of the school. Floodwaters covered nearby properties where they became contaminated with fungi, sewage and bacteria before soaking the school overnight on January 6th.

Since the flooding students have been attending classes online. That will change on Monday, January 31st, when they will transition to on campus learning at Mohawk Elementary at 91166 Sunderman Road in Marcola. During the transition, no classes will be held on January 24th while teachers ready Mohawk Elementary for classes.

“I know this has been a continuation of the most challenging two years for our community, but I am so thankful for each of our families,” Walterville Principal Nicki Gorham wrote in a note to parents. “This community continues to impress me with their resilience and commitment to our students. I am grateful for your support as we transition to our new location.”


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