LOUISA, Va. (WUSA) -- More than five months after a devastating earthquake, life is taking a big step closer to normal for students and parents in Louisa County, Va. as its different schools now have their own buildings and classes will not be held on Saturdays.
Before Wednesday, a lack of classroom space forced some creative scheduling. "Our high school students went to school Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 to 5:00, and our middle school students attended school Tuesday, Thursday, and every-other-Saturday," said Gregory Strickland, the chairman of the Louisa County School Board.
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The epicenter of the August 2011 earthquake was in Louisa County, near the small town of Mineral, Va. Early estimates done by county and state officials put the damage at $70 million in the county and $57.5 million of that was to Louisa County Public School structures.
"We lost the buildings for approximately 40% of our students," Strickland told 9NEWS NOW Wednesday morning. Now, after plenty of work, "we have a modular elementary school and a modular high school at this point."
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Despite the new classroom space, things are not back to the old routine at schools in Louisa County. "We still have an extended school day," Strickland said," in order to have our necessary number of hours required by the Board of Education."
In the immediate Washington area, the earthquake has become a fun story to tell and an inconvenience for tourists wanting to visit the Washington Monument. In Louisa County, it is still a part of everyday life. "We have a new normal," Strickland said. "as you now, we had a 3.2 aftershock this week as well."
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But when it comes to school, everyone is taking things in stride. "We're all adjusting to the new normal," Strickland said, " and the teachers and staff are doing a wonderful job of rising to the occasion."
Written by Dan Guzman
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com