MINERAL, Va. (WUSA) - More aftershocks made for a few moments of uncertainty this week in Louisa County. It's been five months since a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit, damaging hundreds of buildings, including two schools. Both Thomas Jefferson Elementary and Louisa County High School have be condemned because of structural damage.
Two weeks after the quake, Thomas Jefferson students were attending class in trailers located at another elementary school. The high school students have been sharing the Middle School building, attending on alternate days. The middle schoolers have had to go every other Saturday.
"We made it work!" said Superintendent Dr. Deborah Pettit. She says she's grateful to the parents who have cooperated and never complained. She says they were blessed with the fact nobody was killed or seriously injured, considering the amount of damage.
Come February 1, the high school students will be back on their own campus, not in the damaged building, but on the parking lot. Twenty-two mobile buildings, including several large modular pods, will house classrooms, a cafeteria, a library and even a fitness area.
"I'm looking forward to some normalcy," said biology teacher Jeanette Raileanu. Teachers have had to cart all their materials to and from their classrooms. They're happy to finally have their own space.
Louisa County High School Principal Tom Smith says they'll be happy to go back to a five-day schedule. He expects to be in the mobile units for at least three years. At some point, it'll be decided which is more cost-effective: to repair the school or tear it down and rebuild. The same decision will have to be made for Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.
Written by Peggy Fox