Castlewood School District prepares for next school year after tornado damages school


CASTLEWOOD, SD (KELO) – Temporary classrooms and offices are being prepared as the Castlewood School District prepares to return to school.

It’s been two months since the EF-2 tornado ripped through the city, destroying homes and parts of the school.

Castlewood has been busy for the past two months cleaning up debris and beginning repairs.

“It’s definitely a slow process, people are starting to come in and fill out building permits to build new houses or move into new houses. Some of us are still working through the process of demolishing houses that need to be demolished,” said Brian Ries, mayor of Castlewood.

In addition to houses and trees, the tornado also damaged parts of the school.

“Areas that we know are not structurally sound are the old gymnasium, kitchen, dining hall and elementary wing,” Castlewood School District Superintendent Peter Books said.

Castlewood School District superintendent Peter Books said three parcels of land on the south side of the school had been purchased. When building permits are approved, the space will be used for a playground, an outdoor learning center and a mobile kitchen.

“Basically in the middle of the purchased lots, we will put a modular classroom unit which contains 8 classrooms. Each classroom has a storage area and a bathroom and there are also four desks in this module unit.

The unit will arrive on August 8.

“Really, that’s going to be our plan for the classrooms that we’ve lost for probably two school years,” Books said.

Even with a lot of things in limbo, Books hopes they can start school on time.

“Really, it’s been a daily timeline for us. We know we’re running out of time in terms of our schedule (going) but we’re really hoping we can start on August 24 and if we have to delay, we’ll make that decision,” he said. said Books.

The school administration will meet with FEMA on Monday to discuss the next step process for the school.

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