First look inside damaged Louisa high school - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

First look inside damaged Louisa high school

Posted: Updated:

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Incredible images coming out of Louisa County as we get our first look inside the school damaged during the earthquake. Today, administrators are trying to plan their next move, but they can't - until they determine the extent of the structural damage at the high school & middle school.  

It is a disaster area all by itself. The urgency of the situation shown in the book bags and belongings scattered across classroom floors. Students were told to drop everything and follow evacuation routes out of the building. 

We met Superintendent Deborah Pettit at the high school. 

"Our students and staff were just amazing as they exited the building, really not knowing what was happening, but they remained calm until they left on the bus," Pettit said. 

Today as Governor Bob McDonnell and Congressman Eric Cantor surveyed the damage, they praised the school community for their quick and for the most part, safe exit, with only six kids and one teacher injured. 

"This was the epicenter of the earthquake and you just think nothing like that has ever happened to me, but I am extremely grateful," Pettit said. 

The damage leaves you temporarily speechless as Mother Nature's wrath is shown in cinder blocks torn apart, ceiling tiles smashed on the floor and walls buckling under the pressure. 

Now school officials wait in a holding pattern. The insurance company has flown in structural engineers to examine the damage, but until that report comes out, they won't know which contingency plan to choose. 

"Would we run two shifts and try to use the middle school if it's able to be used, use the middle school or would we have bring in mobile units and try to set those up," Pettit explained. 

Pettit says, no matter what, Louisa will have school this year. Today school administrators gathered students' belongings into classes. At some point they will set up a time to return them.  The best way to stay updated is to check the school website and district messages.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow