Lexington and Diplomat middle schools reopening on Tuesday

Reporter: Samantha Johns Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Diplomat Middle School. (Credit: WINK News)

There is good news for students of both Lexington and Diplomat middle schools. the two schools are set to reopen this week, more than a month after Hurricane Ian hit.

There is still damage to carpets, ceiling tiles, drywall, and a few windows, which will continue to be worked on over the weekend, but the schools passed the nine safety criteria needed to open their doors.

Diplomat Middle School looks a bit different after Hurricane Ian forced the campus to shut down.

Hallway in Diplomat Middle School. (Credit: WINK News)

“This is the main upstairs hallway, obviously. It just ripped out roof above, so everything had water damage, and then ripped out all the carpeting, and it’s gonna be a shock to the kids,” said Maura Bennington, principal at Diplomat Middle School.

For Bennington, it was all a shock. Despite all the damage, like missing ceiling tiles, carpets, and broken windows, she’s excited to welcome students back on Tuesday.

Ceiling in Diplomat Middle School. (Credit: WINK News)

It took a few weeks, but the building is now deemed safe. Repairs will continue on weekends and during after-school hours. In the meantime, it’ll be an adjustment in terms of both appearance and sound for those returning.

“You’ve always, always been able to hear the classrooms on either side of you. You know you can hear that murmur of stuff going on,” Bennington said.

Although it’ll be difficult at first, Principal Bennington is confident the campus will get through it with the help of teachers and staff.

“There’s a lot of processing going on right now, and they’re also still leading their children through the classes today, too, for a few minutes every period, so it’s a lot. They’re doing a lot. They’re getting a lot accomplished,” said Bennington.

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