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New Year, New Changes: Flooded School Back in Session, Repairs Ongoing

A La Salle County school is back in action after massive floods destroyed the building this spring.
MARSEILLES - A La Salle County school is back in action after massive floods destroyed the building this spring.

But staff say, with repairs totaling more than six million dollars, Marseilles Elementary has a long way to go before restoration is complete.

"You remember the fish was right down here, and it's no longer there,” said District Superintendent JoEllen Fuller.  “It's been cleaned out."

Fuller is thrilled to be back on campus at Marseilles Elementary.

Just five months ago, water, mud and even wildlife covered the kitchen floor.

"The kids don't have to worry about fish sticks,” Fuller laughed.

Meals are made at a local church, and then sent to the school.

"The staff has been so flexible and the community has been behind us 100 percent,” she added.

Lunch time modifications are only part of the changes in place this year.

"In teaching you have to be flexible so we just all went with the flow,” said Lori Williamson.

The kindergarten teacher is one of many whose classes are being held in a mobile unit.

"They really did an awesome job adapting,” Williamson admits.

An outdoor restroom portable has been placed near the kindergarten and first grade classroom units.

On a nice day, staff say the children don't mind walking outside.

But if it’s raining or cool they'd have to travel fast.

"You get out as quickly as you can...The kids love the rain though,” smiled Williamson.

But keeping track of everyone in their new surroundings has been slightly challenging.

"When we've done fire drills and tornado drills it all comes down to uh-oh...where do we go?”  said Fuller.

But staff say knowing all students are near each other gives parents peace of mind.

"At least they know where their kids are and we can say we're on one campus,” said Fuller. 

“This is home, it’s home.”

The Cost:

School repairs are said to be finished early next year, with all students back in the building by January.
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