Students forced out of classrooms after flooding damages 2 Las Vegas Valley charter schools

Students forced out of classrooms after flooding damages 2 Las Vegas Valley charter schools
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 9:23 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Two Discovery Charter School campuses, an elementary school on the east side of Las Vegas and a middle school in Summerlin, both flooded during storms over the Labor Day weekend, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage.

“The water came in in the back and saturated the carpet, soaked into the walls, so we had to take all that off, remove all the furniture, remove a lot of classroom decorations, and now it’s just back to bare-bones until we can fix it,” said Fredierike Opalinski, assistant principal of the elementary school.

“It doesn’t look like anything happened in here. It looks like students have just dismissed for the day, but when we found this classroom, the water was completely saturated like a sponge,” said Tricia Wilbourne, principal, showing a damaged classroom at the middle school. “We had student supplies on the floor under the table, the teacher supplies, and they were waterlogged.”

Multiple classrooms at both schools are now unusable.

”We had to cancel school at this campus for one day, at the middle school for three days because we had to try to find a way to put the kids into different classrooms.”

Kindergarten through second grade students are now learning in the cafeteria and other areas of the building at the elementary school.

“We just got that building and got new painted walls and carpet, and now we’re going to have to tear it out,” said a student. “Definitely a shame.”

While in Summerlin, the middle schoolers are being taught at a church near the campus.

Students weren’t sure what to expect when they heard the plan.

Wednesday was the middle schoolers’ first day of classes in the modified church classrooms.

”It was different, for sure,” said another student.

School staff is grateful that the church offered the free space for the next few months while repairs are underway at the middle school.

However, as a private, tuition-free charter school, the principal says repairs to both campuses will be costly without the help of the state or insurance, due to no flood coverage.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for repairs: Discovery Charter School GoFundMe