Storm damages South Central High School

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

Students at South Central High School were not in class on Wednesday morning, but many of the teachers showed up for work though they were doing work of a different kind.

Instead of giving lectures or tests, those teachers were busy helping district employees take care of storm damage.

The roof covering over the high schools library and media center was ripped off by high winds that were part of a major storm that moved through the area on Wednesday night.

SCHS Principal Darrell Gordon said Wednesday morning that the damage occurred at about 6:30 p.m., as the school was hosting a girls basketball regional tournament.

Gordon said that the school lost electricity when the storm hit, during the first quarter of the first game scheduled for Tuesday night. He and other school officials directed players, coaches and fans into tornado drill hallways, Gordon said.

After CIPS officials told him that the school would likely be without power until about 9 p.m., Gordon and other South Central officials released those attending the game, after the storm had passed.

He said that classes at SCHS were canceled on Wednesday because of the leaking roof, and he couldnt estimate how many days of school the students would miss. Tarps were being used to address the problem on a temporary basis.

As he spoke on Wednesday morning, a number of teachers were taking out ceiling tiles damaged as a result of the leaking roof. Im really proud of them pitching in and helping, Gordon said.

SCHS officials would be working to reschedule the girls regional tournament, he said.

We wont be holding it in this (high school) gym, Gordon said, adding that the tournament may be moved to South Central Middle School.

We have to check to see whether (that gym) meets the IHSA (Illinois High School Association) rules, Gordon said.

The St. Peter-Farina area appeared to be the hardest hit part of Fayette County on Tuesday night, with a number of households being without electricity due to downed power lines.

Steve Koehler, Fayette Countys Emergency Management Agency coordinator, who was out much of the evening on Tuesday responding to storm-related issues, was unavailable for a storm update as of press time.