Marseilles Elementary Regaining 'Home' Feeling

Published 04/17 2014 05:33PM

Updated 04/17 2014 06:14PM

MARSEILLES - The past year has been a blur for Marseilles superintendent Jo Ellen Fuller.

"We kept saying up until the time were moving stuff up to higher ground, it's not going to happen, and on the 19th, it happened,” said Fuller.

The waters of the Illinois River ripped through Marseilles Elementary School last April, causing canceled classes and months of headaches. Students were displaced to churches, portable classrooms, and other schools across the area.

"There's a reason for everything, and maybe the flood was the reason to repair what needs to be done,” said Fuller.

Fuller says countless hours of work and stress have gone into the school's $6 million rehabilitation project.

"Being able to walk down the hallway and not being afraid to slip and slid or to step on something,” said Fuller.

The gymnasium, left in ruins from the flooding was hard to handle.

"I went here in middle school and it was pretty hard to see all that damage,” said kindergarten teacher Lori Williamson.

In mid-December, the gym was reopened, with a new $200,000 maple floor. It wasn't until January that students were finally back in their classrooms.

"It was like a brand new year,” said Williamson:

The changes stretch from the music room, all the way to the cafeteria.

But it's the refurbished classrooms that have brought peace back to the school.

"I like that. It makes the kids feel comfortable. It makes the teachers feel comfortable, and I'm really glad we're back in the school,” said Williamson.

And the halls, filled with students, are a welcome sight as well.

"It's a good noise level again. It's good to be home."

The school still needs to fill in spaces where the portable classrooms were and fix asphalt outside. Fuller says those are summer projects.

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