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KISD students back in the classroom after winter storm damage repaired

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 9:08 AM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Two weeks after freezing temperatures rolled in, students in one of the largest school districts in the state are heading back to the classroom Thursday morning.

All but three Killeen ISD schools will be opening their doors to students. The district said crews have been working around the clock to make sure repairs and remediation were done.

Killeen ISD public information officer Taina Maya said a lot of the damage throughout the schools was caused by water. Maya said when students come back Thursday, they may notice missing ceiling and floor tiles, as the district is still working to make those repairs.

Maya said the areas have been remediated and dehumidified, but the supplies haven’t come yet to make repairs.

Some schools sustained pretty major damage due to the storm. Maya said the gym floor at Audie Murphy Middle School has been ruined, and the library had standing water in it.

While there was a lot of damage in some places, Maya said a lot of work has also been done.

“There’s a laundry list, probably 38 pages long, of items that we’ve not only experienced, we’ve also remedied, and now we’re on to the recovery stage,” Maya said. “We’re ready to reopen.”

Maya said one challenge in getting ready to re-open has been the unknown. Much of the damage happened while the schools were empty. Crews are making repairs, and they’re also working to test what it would be like when schools are fully operational.

“It’s hard for us to act like campus is up and running and working,” Maya said. “We’re trying, we’re going around and acting like kids are, they’re pressing on the water, trying to do everything they can, and to really make sure our facilities are thoroughly checked.”

Maya said the district does not expect any major issues tomorrow, although crews and district leaders are on standby in case of any issues. This is the third time KISD has re-opened doors to students, which Maya said is unheard of.

Some students will not be heading back to the classroom this week. Students at Audie Murphy Middle School and Palo Alto Middle School will be on remote learning, and students at Skipcha Elementary School will be doing virtual learning.

All students coming back to the classroom are asked to bring a water bottle with them.

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