Crews finishing repairs to elementary school near Lafayette closed in November storm damage

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LAFAYETTE, Indiana — Desks and chairs are being put in classrooms and construction workers are wrapping up repairs on an elementary school that's been closed since November because of storm damage.

That work has Mintonye Elementary School on pace to be open for the first day of school on Aug. 13, the Journal & Courier reported ( ).

The elementary school and neighboring Southwestern Middle School were both hit by the November storm, but Southwestern sustained more serious damage and will be closed for at least several more months.

Final work on the Mintonye building includes sealing windows, installing carpets and unloading more classroom supplies, said Steve Tobias, director of buildings and grounds for the Tippecanoe School Corp.

"The roof has been totally replaced, the HVC equipment on top of the roof has been replaced and we've done some cosmetic things in the classrooms," he said.

If all goes as planned, the classrooms will be cleaned by the end of the week and teachers will be able to start unpacking Monday.

"I'm sure they'll be pounding at the door to get in," Tobias said.

Nearly 1,000 students from the two schools had to attend classes in temporary locations after the storm hit on a Sunday afternoon. Two tornadoes hit near the rural area about 5 miles southwest of Lafayette during a storm wave that saw about two dozen tornadoes across the state.

School district officials are planning an $11 million project to repair the middle school, which had part of its roof torn off and some exterior walls demolished.

Information from: Journal and Courier,

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