Students await new realities at Louisa County schools

LOUISA, VA (WWBT) – Yet another small aftershock rattled Louisa County Tuesday morning. The 2.1 magnitude tremor happened around 5:00 a.m. It didn't do any damage, unlike the original earthquake that struck last month. That one damaged several schools, some of which will finally re-open next week under very different circumstances.

The 5.8 magnitude quake of two weeks ago shook the ceilings apart, and broke open the walls at two Louisa County schools. It sent students running for cover and limping to safety.

Things are much different now.

ANDY: "So, there'll be stairs that go up to this, right?"

WAYNE: "Yeah, they're building decks."

Wayne Vick and his crew are running power to more than two dozen mobile units because the high school and one of the elementary schools (Thomas Jefferson) are unusable. They've never done anything quite like this, and they will not wait for the rain to stop.

"Well, we can't. I mean, school's gotta start Monday so it's no...I mean, it's an effort that's gotta be made," Vick said.

So, in their brand new yellow slickers they're laying wire in the squishy wet mud. The mobile units need heating and air conditioning, and later they'll get furniture. Students from Thomas Jefferson Elementary School will go there, on what used to be the soccer field at Trevilians Elementary.

It won't always look pretty, but the superintendent says it's an accomplishment no earthquake can shake.

"We have come out strong. The entire community has come together. And we're gonna be better for this," said Dr. Deborah Pettit.

It's a new reality unlike anything these young students have seen before, and classes are scheduled to re-start next Monday.

Elsewhere, middle school and high school students will share the middle school building, and attend class on alternating days including some Saturdays. They'll also be using trailers, but not as many as needed for the elementary school.

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