BENTON, La. - Hard work is paying off. After three days of cleaning and fixing up Benton Middle School, students go back to class Tuesday. Saturday, the roof was ripped off the 6th grade wing, and the school flooded. The National Weather Service said straight line winds estimated at 105 mph are to blame.
Monday, a #Bentonstrong sign was displayed outside the damaged school. Teachers and the principal Kyle Machen were in high spirits and ready to get back to normal on Tuesday. Machen said six classrooms and one professional development room were destroyed in the storm. The teachers affected have been moved to different rooms or buildings.
One teacher told KTBS that she is back in her classroom from last year in a temporary building at the school. She's thankful she will get back to doing what she loves soon, but several items she's had with her for 18 years are gone.
"Teachers spend a lot of time in their classrooms," said Shannon Nugent. "It's our second home. A lot of us have sentimental items in there from over the years and from our own personal kids. So, that's been hard. But we're just being positive, and the attitude that we have is going to be the attitude that our students have... ...These were just material things and they can be replaced."
Since the storm people have donated items, and local organizations offered free food. Machen said he's not sure how long crews will work Monday.
"If it requires us working through the night to get that done, we're more than willing to do that, but again, the storms came through at 1:15 Saturday morning and by 3:00 a.m. that same morning there were crews here addressing the issues and the cleanup effort began then," said Machen.
On Tuesday, 6th grade students will need to go to the north campus gym in the morning instead of the commons. 7th grade and 8th grade students will start their day like normal.
If you’d like to help the affected teachers click here.