SEYMOUR, Iowa- The Seymour School District is making plans to resume classes, after an EF-2 tornado struck their school, and community Monday night.
A former care center is being converted to use as a place to hold class for the 300 students in Pre-K through 12th. If all goes as planned classes will resume Monday March 20th. Band and Chorus will be held in the Methodist Church. Some nearby school districts have offered the use of their gymnasiums.
“We have ripped out walls we have lots of contractors from the community and surrounding communities that are here to help us,” said Jamie Houser, Principal for the Seymour School District. “We’ve made a lot of progress all the walls of been ripped out now we’re just doing all the painting so when the painting is done we can do the cleanup process.”
Service Master company is boxing up materials from the school and will move them to the new location. Meanwhile a meeting was set Thursday with the School District’s insurance company to see what the options might be long term for the damaged school building.
Many volunteers were working inside the former care center to get it ready to host students.
“I got tons of text messages just like being are you OK and all my professors were super nice and my work was super nice they let me leave early,” said Raven Westphal, who graduated from Seymour in 2016.
“I go to school at Simpson College in Indianola Iowa this is my home,”said Mariah Clark, also a 2016 graduate of Seymour. “I’ve been here all my life, to see the school just be hit so hard it really hurt, I’m just happy to be back and able to help with whatever I can.”
Seymour Schools has had plenty of help this week. Students from Mt. Ayr were picking up debris on Thursday.
“We have lots of people around here that supported us,” said Houser. “It’ll be okay, sometimes things happen, you just come out stronger on the end.”
Of the 30 teachers on staff, the school history teacher did have heavy damage to his home. Some of the teachers planned to go assist with cleanup there once the insurance company had met with him.
In once sense, Iowa weather is helping to the school’s benefit. The Seymour District has not had any snow days this year, with the mild winter, so some of the time missed can be counted as snow days.