Louisa officials ponder reopening of school

MINERAL, Va. (WWBT) -- We are getting new images on what the damage is like at Louisa County High School. Now, we are learning from the Superintendent, it is possible that one of the school's buildings may never reopen again.

The huge crack that now lines the backside of Louisa County High School shows just how strong the earthquake was.

It's one of several cracks that has school Superintendent Doctor Deborah Pettit wondering what's next. "I'm thinking we won't be able to use that building for a while, if ever."

She was inside a classroom there when the earthquake hit.

Also by looking at the building, you can see the bricks shifted, too, some sticking out more than others.

There's even more damage inside. Ceiling tiles here have come crashing down, some smashing into pieces as they hit the ground.

So now there are several options on the table for what to do next. "Would we run two shifts and try to use the middle school if its able to use -- use the middle school -- or bring in mobile units," says Dr. Pettit, listing some options.

Many of the students went scrambling for safety and left their belongings behind. Dr. Pettit says not to worry. These buildings are locked and monitored by the sheriff's office. "We have a plan to package the students belongings probably by classroom and then have them available for parents to pick up at a later date."

The plan is to reopen the schools next Tuesday. School leaders hope that happens. "We are going to have a school year this year, it may have to go into June but we are going to have a complete school year."

Building inspectors are on scene now, checking out the 6 county schools. Those inspections could take a few days. Once that is complete, leaders will have a better understanding on just how significant the damage is.

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