Vincennes Rivet continues rebuilding

Local News

VINCENNES, Ind. (WEHT) — As students across the country prepare to go back to class and opening plans are built, one school is also rebuilding its structure after a tornado.

Straight line wind ripped the roof off a classroom at Vincennes Rivet, allowing water to leak through both floors. Even though there is a temporary roof on the building, water still gets in and some of the rooms are still not usable. But, Rivet has options.

“We’re fortunate that we happen to have an old school building that is right next to this present building. We call it the annex. So we’ve been able to re-purpose some of those rooms and utilize those rooms for some of our high school classroom,” Father Tony Ernst said.

Other than classes taking place in different rooms and even in separate buildings, Principal Janice Jones says it will be the same school students left in March.

“I think we’ve got some good plans in place. Maybe a little noise here and there, but we’re preparing for that,” Jones said. “We are very excited to get started. We are staying Patriot strong. we’re going to get through COVID, and we’re going to get through this building remodel and come out better than what we started.”

One of the most memorable scenes from the aftermath of the April storm was a cross on the wall of one of the heavily damaged rooms. The cross never moved through the storm.

“Now it moved into our science teacher’s current room. She took it with her, and as soon as we get back here, it will go back in that spot. That will be a cross to be remembered forever,” Ernst said.

Rivet hopes to have its repairs complete and all students under one roof by the beginning of the next semester.

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(This story was originally published on Aug. 11, 2020)

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