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Storm rips roof off elementary school. Administrator ‘grateful’ for when it happened

Kansas City Star
A major storm ripped through an Ohio elementary school, tearing off a large portion of its roof.

But there’s good news — students at Fairland West Elementary School were on spring break as the Tuesday, April 2, storm moved through Proctorville in southern Ohio.

“Praise Jesus they are on spring break this week,” Ashley Taliaferro, whose son attends the school, said in a Facebook post. “Trying hard not to imagine all the terrified babies that could have been in there.”

“I cried because were it not for spring break this week, Andy and Leah and their friends would’ve been in that classroom when the storm came through,” another parent, Jennifer Allen Graham, said on Facebook.

Roni Hayes, superintendent at Fairland Local Schools, said no one was hurt during the storm.

When spring break is complete, Fairland West Elementary students will be temporarily moved to other buildings to allow time to clean up and repair the school, the superintendent said.

“I am so grateful that we were not in session,” she said in a statement.

Pictures shared on social media show a clear blue sky visible above one classroom. As parts of the roof littered the room, a bulletin board sign that reads “Don’t stop until you’re proud” remained visible on the wall.

By Thursday, work was well underway to clean up the school. “Amazing progress” had been made, Fairland West said on Facebook.

Fairland East Elementary School, which will house some of the West students, said it is working on “finding space” for the incoming children.

“We are grateful to be able to problem solve and adjust and make it all work,” Fairland East said on Facebook. “Very thankful for an amazing school district full of wonderful people who go above and beyond constantly and an awesome community who step in to help out whenever the call goes out.”

Proctorville is about a 150-mile drive southeast of Cincinnati.

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