Historic middle school damaged by tornado to be torn down - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Historic middle school damaged by tornado to be torn down

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WISNER, Neb. (KTIV) -

A unanimous vote Monday night, to demolish the Wisner-Pilger Middle School.

During a school board meeting in Wisner, members were told that the school was damaged beyond repair by the June 16th EF-4 tornado in Pilger, Nebraska.

That EF-4 twister took off the roof, broke windows, and left the brick building structurally unsound.

Leaders learned the most cost-effective option is to tear it down.

The district plans to purchase three mobile classrooms to teach the 70 5th and 6th graders who went to school there.  The classrooms will be placed on the playground outside the elementary building in Wisner.

Students will have access to the gym, library, and cafeteria inside.

“It's a plan that puts students first, and that's what's important for us as teachers. I think the plan moving forward is doing everything that we can do to get our students ready for school and have some sense of normalcy, which is pretty tough right now,” said 5th Grade Teacher Jake Runyon.

They expect to have teachers in those mobile classrooms by August 1st.

School starts the 14th.

School officials want to move forward quickly, and say they will not consider public input on the issue.

"It is a tough stance to take. I will tell you that from the time that tornado touched down, and did so much destruction to the first day of school is exactly 60 days. Because of that tight timeline, we're in day 15 right now. We have 45 days until to our doorstep, and so we want to do everything possible to get them into the most conducive learning atmosphere as we can,” said Chad Boyer, Superintendent.

Boyer said they will allow the public to weigh in on the long-term plan to rebuild the middle school, something they did not discuss Monday night.

Demolition will start July 7th.

The district plans to save as many bricks from the old school for alumni and community members who want to keep a piece of the past.  After all, that school is sat in Pilger for more than 100 years.

 

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