East Texas schools make recovery efforts

Alto ISD school gym declared a total loss says Superintendent Kelly West

East Texas schools make recovery efforts

EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - Fallen rooftops, debris and downed power lines are just a few of the problems at East Texas schools damaged by the weekend's tornadoes.

Alto, Woden, Kennard and Lufkin school districts were closed Monday as grounds crews spent the day removing trees and assessing the damage.

Officials on Monday at Alto ISD said they will be closed the remainder of the week.

"You know we showed him pictures and he was like mom the front part of the gym is open what are we going to do because that's where they go in the mornings," said Felicia Pope, a mother.

Pope's 8-year-old son loves going to the gym at Alto ISD. But after the storms, there's a big gaping hole in front of the gym which was damaged from Saturday and the walls of the gym collapsed.

"I was like son they're doing what they can to get it right so y'all can go back to the school and enjoy the rest of your school year before your summer break," Pope said.

With just months left in the school year, district officials met Monday for a safety inspection of the entire campus. Not only did the storm destroy several homes, it also damaged alto elementary and alto high school.

Alto ISD superintendent Kelly West said the high school will be further inspected this week. But she said the elementary gym is a total loss.

Meanwhile, Lufkin school district officials also spent the day surveying damage at their high school.

"Today, just meeting with everybody our grounds crew, our ac guys, our electrician and just making sure we didn't miss anything and being prepared to try to have school tomorrow," said Brandon Boyd, principal at Lufkin High School.

He said most of the damage was outside on the grounds of the campus where panthers pack and staff all chipped in to help with restoration efforts.

"Our entire ground crews is here on campus, getting cleaning out debris, just making sure everything is out the way if there's anything that we missed. Making sure that the trees that may not have fell are not at risk to fall," Boyd said.

Alto ISD superintendent said no date has been set yet to reopen school. She said school will be closed for the rest of the week.

School officials at Lufkin ISD said as of right now, school will resume on Tuesday. They are working with cable crews to restore a downed fiber optic line.

Kennard ISD was closed Monday due to a power outage. School will be back open Tuesday. Woden ISD will also have class Tuesday.

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