Ritz visits TSC to talk tornado recovery

State schools superintendent Glenda Ritz met with TSC officials to discuss repairs to two schools damaged by a tornado.
State schools superintendent Glenda Ritz met with TSC officials to discuss repairs to two schools damaged by a tornado.

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – State schools superintendent Glenda Ritz met with Tippecanoe School Corporation Monday to discuss the future of two schools damaged by a tornado last year.

It’s been two and a half months since a tornado destroyed parts of Mintonye Elementary and Southwestern Middle Schools.

“When I was at the schools it was just heart wrenching really to think that kids could have been in the building first of all, but it was a good learning experience afterwards to know that they were going to have kids. If they had been in school, they were going to be in safe places,” Ritz said.

Ritz met with the principals from the damaged schools and officials working to start repairs. TSC Superintendent Scott Hanback said they are still working on completing a damage assessment survey.

“Once we get all that information we’ll be able to put that together and have a true picture of what the costs were, what the scope of the project is going to look like,” Hanback said.

“I’m very pleased with how things are going and making sure that kids are getting what they need,” Ritz said.

Students from the damaged schools have split up between classrooms at Wea Ridge Middle School and First Assembly Community Ministries. Principals from both schools said students have adjusted well in the past few months, but are ready to get back to their own buildings.

“We are all so wanting to get back home,” Southwestern principal Karen Smith said. “We appreciate where we are at. We have made the best of that and love the welcoming door that we received, but it is time to go home sometimes.”

“Obviously we’re getting anxious to get back in our own building, but we’re thinking that’s probably going to be August now,” Mintonye principal Rob Skaggs said.

Hanback said while the goal is to have Mintonye ready for the start of next school year Southwestern students may not get back into their building until the middle of the school year.

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