Louisa County schools meet with FEMA, unload trailers

LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - Louisa County High Schoolers have more changes in site. Trailers are being delivered for a modular campus. While the high school waits for the new classrooms, FEMA officials are helping school leaders prepare a plan to get a permanent school in place again.

"Who would have ever thought that we would be relieved to see modular units coming in to be located in front of our high school," said Deborah Pettit, Superintendent of Louisa County Schools. "But it is, because it means progress to us."

Progress after an earthquake left the old high school broken and unusable, forcing high school and middle school students to share one building, attending class every other day.

Once high schoolers move into the modular classrooms, they'll have their own space for class

But, just because these trailers are here on campus, doesn't mean they're ready to go. They still need Internet, they still need fire security systems, they still need plumbing, electricity, and among other things, school supplies.

"It's a lot of furniture," says Pettit who tells us the school system has hired a moving company to prepare the classrooms.

Meanwhile, FEMA started its official relief process with school officials, though there are no real answers yet about how much repairs will cost or when they'll be done.

"We left the meeting knowing this is the first step of a long journey," said Greg Strickland, Chairman of the Louisa County School Board.

"It will entail quite a bit of paperwork documenting what it's going to cost to make repairs to our schools or to replace. That decision hasn't been made yet," added Pettit.

But, school leaders say their school is where their students are, even if that means many will be graduating from modular classrooms.

"They've made jokes now about graduating from a trailer park so to speak, but the school is the people in it," said Pettit.

Corey Strickland, a junior, admits that he'll miss going to class every other day, but says graduating from a "trailer park" may have its perks.

"It's definitely something to write about in your college essay," he said.

School officials tell me this is a lengthy process and they don't anticipate having the actual high school open again until 2015, at the earliest. They hope to re-open the elementary school the year before, in 2014.

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