ALTO, Texas (KTRE) - One year to the day since a tornado hit the City of Alto, the city’s school district is once again assessing storm damage.
Alto ISD superintendent Kelly West will remember well the year that began April 13, 2019.
“It’s been a very long year. It’s been a very difficult and challenging year, said West.
The year ends with yet another storm. Straight line winds that peeled the elementary school’s newly replaced roof. West got the news while preparing Easter dinner.
“And then when I saw the picture of it, I cried a little,” shared West with a chuckle. “And then yesterday afternoon we hit the ground.”
Inspectors and architects evaluated the roof damage. Eight classrooms were significantly flooded.
“The fact that school is currently at home learning has helped the fact that we didn’t have to find a, I guess, relocation place for those students today,” said the optimistic school leader.
In this year students are growing accustomed to displacement. First the tornado. Now Covid 19. Thru it all, students, particularly seniors learn a life lesson outside the traditional classroom.
“Things happen. You just gotta go with the flow,” said senior Foster Hall. “Our community, our teachers our school our student body have all been extremely resilient.”
“And because of that,” said West, the COVID 19 thing, when that surfaced, it was almost like we were ready”
Cafeteria workers have prepared and distributed over 10,000 meals in recent weeks.
“We’re persevering,” said cafeteria worker Brenda Jackson. “We’re doing the best we can. We’re just doing the best we can.”
West prefers to highlight the accomplishments rather than the losses.
“We have a beautiful new complex with renovated baseball park, new dugouts, our softball field is finished, all our dressing rooms, our gymnasium have been renovated and we were in really good shape.”
It’s easy to ask, How much can a school district take.
Whatever life sends their way when they vow ‘don’t look back’, the district’s motto since the April, 2019 tornado.
The district is looking forward to a new high school. Demolition is scheduled for late May or early June, but West says if distance learning continues the work may begin sooner.