Two Louisa schools will not reopen this year

LOUISA, VA (WWBT) – The two Louisa schools most damaged by Tuesday's earthquake will not reopen this year.

The sacrifices continue in the rural county.

"This is not the school year we envisioned, however, we have come through a disaster with our lives and those of our children intact," explained Superintendent Deborah Pettit at a press conference Friday. "We can make the rest happen."

The rest is a work in progress. As NBC12 learned, structural engineers said the destruction at Louisa High School and Thomas Jefferson Elementary is so bad, they won't be able to fix them before the end of the school year.

In fact, for safety reasons we only have still pictures from school administrators because our cameras haven't been allowed inside Thomas Jefferson.

All 550 of those students will now go to Trevilians Elementary, which will add 25 mobile classrooms in order to not increase class size. It makes the bus ride for Curtis Stepien's son even longer.

"Think about it: the children are on the bus now and they're on the bus for 45 minutes sometimes 50 minutes just going to this school to and from," he said. "Think about how much longer it's going to be on the other side of the county."

But Trevilians had some vacant rooms and trailers to accommodate the extra students. And officials maintained because they had started the school year, they didn't want to split already established classes among facilities.

High schoolers won't have to go as far. They'll now attend class at the middle school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current middle school students will have the building on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Until a mobile high school is complete in mid-January, the days will be extended from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Almost a hundred students and parents came to the district's press conference, most thankful to have some sort of resolution.

"In situations like this, you have to be able to adjust to circumstances and be grateful these teachers got our kids out of the schools safely," said Jaclyn Spicer, whose daughter is a sophomore.

School officials told NBC12 they'll work with parents who live far from Trevilians and want to switch their child to a closer school.

We've learned insurance will cover both the costs of moving school facilities and repairing the damage.

School is set to re-start September 12th and will be extended through June 15th.

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