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Colfax Elementary moves classrooms due to storm damage

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 10:28 PM CST
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COLFAX, La. (KALB) - The Grant Parish School system is looking at nearly a million dollars in damages after the recent winter storms.

But the damage didn’t start there. The winter storms were just an addition to damages at Colfax Elementary School from Hurricanes Laura and Delta. The hurricane season caused the school to lose a roof, which still hasn’t been replaced, and significant water damage in classrooms.

“Right now, we’re spending a lot of money on remediation, but we’ve not been able to put any roofs back on buildings.”

Grant Parish School Board Superintendent Paxton Teddlie

The school recently moved classes to the Grant Parish Civic Center, but they wanted to find a way to get everyone back on campus. So, they’ve turned their gym into classrooms using plywood as makeshift walls. They’ve sectioned off the gym into four areas and teachers have done their best to make these temporary classrooms feel like the real thing.

Along with the makeshift classrooms in the school gym, they’ve also been utilizing portable buildings at the school that were placed on campus shortly after the historic hurricane season. Without a roof on the main building on the school campus, they’ve had to continue doing what they can to keep everything dry and clean to prevent further issues until they can get things permanently fixed.

Teddlie says it’s just been one thing after another and this is the third time that teachers have had to uproot their classrooms because of storm damage, but they’re hoping to see some relief soon.

“We’ve been working with FEMA basically since the end of Laura to work with some things. So, I know that the Biden administration did increase the help, that is a 90 percent reimbursement. So, right now we’re still having to go through all the process to be able to be eligible for that money. You know it’s really money that’s spent after we spend it. So, you know in a small parish like us where we don’t have a lot of money to spend in the first place. So, it’s kind of hard to spend the money and then wait. That’s kind of our issue right now.”

Grant Parish School Board Superintendent Paxton Teddlie

And they’ll keep doing everything they can to make sure that even with everything going on, it won’t stop the learning process.

“It’s kind of like that fighter that keeps taking hits on the chin, but just stays up...”

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