Officials in the Aplington-Parkersburg School District are scrambling to find room for 237 high school students that will attend classes this fall at the middle school in Aplington. The High School building in Parkersburg was destroyed in the May 25 tornado.
Brian Buseman is the assistant middle school principal and says they’ll be using every available bit of room in the building throughout the school day. "We also a couple of portable classrooms coming which will be outside," Buseman said. "It’s been six weeks and we’ve been working full days just trying to get all the issues ironed out."
The twister not only wiped out the high school building, but nearly everything inside – including desks, chairs and office supplies. Officials from Des Moines Area Community College delivered a semi load of school supplies to Aplington this week. "They also donated 20 computers, so we’re going to use those out in our lab," Buseman said. "Other schools have been donating desks…Montezuma, South Winnishiek, Belmond-Klemme…the list is pretty much endless on schools that have either donated or been willing to donate."
Construction of a new high school in Parkersburg could begin this summer. "I think in a perfect world, within a year from now, the building will be built," Buseman said. "Things like the auditorium and some of those supplemental things may have to go to the backburner, but I think our number one goal is to get the educational classrooms set up so the 2009-2010 school year…we can have students in there."
The tornado also destroyed 220 homes and more than 20 businesses in Parkersburg, killing eight people between Parkersburg and New Hartford.