Wylie School Employees Pull Together To Repair Badly Damaged Schools

Wylie Independent School District employees worked together Tuesday to repair several damaged school buildings and prepare campuses for class Wednesday.

In a statement posted Tuesday, the Wylie ISD said:

"Our plan is to resume school at all campuses on Wednesday, April 13. Our crews have been working nonstop to get classrooms ready. There may be some changes in classrooms, but for the most part things should proceed close to normal. If you are still dealing with home issues we understand. Please take care of your families first."

The district canceled classes Tuesday because of widespread hail damage. And even though many staff members and teachers have badly damaged homes and personal vehicles, they were willing to pull together to make sure kids could safely get back to class.

Teachers were allowed back inside their classrooms Tuesday to assess the damage and determine what materials need to be replaced.

"In the campuses that have already been evaluated and deemed safe to re-enter we'll let teachers in around noon, within the next hour," said School Board President Heather Leggett. "Some of those teachers will have to hold off until 5 o'clock."

"We're in constant contact with campus principals and they'll let teachers know when it's safe to go back in," she added

Leggett said two campuses — Akin Elementary and Cooper Junior High School — have broken windows and shattered glass in the hallways from the hail storm. The majority of the district's 19 campuses have roof damage and HVAC damage.

"Most were hit pretty hard," she said. "Over the next few weeks that'll be our biggest repair issue."

Last month, 37 HVAC Units had to be replaced at Wylie ISD schools due to damage from a previous hail storm. Now, all 37 may have to be replaced again.

"We just replaced 37 last week, at a school that was damaged from the last event," superintendent David Vinson said.

Hundreds of houses have hail damage, shattered windows and damaged roofs. Tarps and wooden boards dot many neighborhoods across town.

A city spokesman said it's too early to estimate just how many vehicles and homes were affected by the storm.

This storm didn't just impact the school buildings-but also all of the people who work in them. Teachers' homes are damaged and staff members' cars are destroyed.

Longtime Akin Elementary School custodian James Green's roof is badly damaged from the storm. Once the skies cleared, he rushed back to work.

"This is an everyday thing for me. And i felt like i was needed here today. Especially today," he said. "I like working here, and it’s a real good school."

Akin Elementary was hard hit by the storm. Shattered windows left shards of glass stitched to the hallway carpet. Wet ceiling tiles kept falling all morning.

"It's kind of heart breaking. I'm in this school every day, up and down these ramps," he said. "I'll do what I can. I'll help do my part to get this taken care of," said custodian James Green, hard at work cleaning up flooding in the school's cafeteria.

"When stuff happens to Wylie, it seems to only make us stronger," Vinson said.

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