Fortunately, restoration and maintenance crews were in the schools a few hours after the tornado hit, and most of the damage was repaired fairly quickly. Temporary HVAC units were installed, which Holmes would call a blessing. A second initial thought he had around this time: “It will take some time before we can have functional HVAC units again. “
Since the fall vacation began three days after the tornado, it didn’t affect the students much. The only small downside was that MIGC students had to take distance education the following week.
Insurance has so far covered nearly $ 1 million in damage to public schools in Coweta, Holmes said. Shutting off the gas and having to restart it in large buildings, along with other potential leaks, is always a costly ordeal, he added.
But if there’s one thing about the unfortunate storm that makes Holmes beyond the pride of his neighborhood, it’s his students. They were willing and selfless throughout the cleaning process. Many athletes were texting their coaches asking how they could help them before their coach even reached out to them. They all stepped in for their schools, he said. Whether it was the band members or the baseball team, the “black and orange” was there.
“Our kids in Coweta can drive a four-wheel drive and back up a trailer better than anyone, much better than I can,” said Holmes. “They have such a great work ethic… It really is a great place to raise a family.”