Looking at the students at Wis. Valley Lutheran, you'd think it was just another typical Monday afternoon in high school. Lectures, notes, homework. But looks can be deceiving. If you take a closer look, the academic hallway still has the base board ripped out from beneath its lockers, and many rooms look unusually bare.
"It was just like something I've never seen before," said school administrator David Beringer. On Saturday, Dec. 1, Beringer got a call that his classrooms were underwater.
"It's like going out into a mud puddle and splashing in it," he said. "That's what it was like."
Investigators believe a ruptured water pipe in the sprinkler system is to blame for thousands of dollars in collapsed ceiling tiles, insulation-covered floors and broken computers. School was closed all last week for the restoration process. But students came anyway to lend a hand.
"This school is just kind of a place where we feel at home and all of our friends are," said junior Allison. "And so we just wanted to be here for the school so that we could get it back to the way it was."
"We always say we're family here," Beringer said. "But it just reaffirmed everything that I already knew." The entire student body helped out in some capacity. Most students came by last Monday to move desks and shelves out of the school, and then again on Sunday to put them all back.
After a full week off, class was back in session Monday, and that meant students had a lot of catching up to do. Although teachers aren't worried about finishing the fall semester on time, "There are going to be some days where we're going to be actually in session where we weren't going to be before," Beringer said.
The school's insurance will cover most of the restoration cost, but Beringer says he is reaching out to the community, parents and church members for assistance as well.
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