LENNOX, SD (KELO) — The newly-repaired roof at Lennox High School passed a big test Thursday: remaining leak-free despite heavy rain throughout much of the day. Saturday’s EF-1 tornado peeled off part of the roof leading to a major cleanup inside the school and keeping students out of classes on Monday.
Lennox High School students are glad to be back in class following this weekend’s tornado damage. But their enthusiasm was drowned-out by the sound of heavy rain pelting their school’s repaired rooftop.
“I’m just glad that we got people come in and fix up the school because it could get a lot worse with all this rain that’s coming in,” Lennox junior Conner Eich said.
The roof more than held its own and that means the school superintendent no longer has to hold his breath every time it rains.
“As of yesterday, we got things all dried back in, and so now we can kind of rest easy knowing that, let it rain, we’re protected now,” Lennox Superintendent Chad Conaway said.
The return to school has brought a sense of normalcy and resiliency to students who had to stay home on Monday because there was no power in the building.
“I think with like last year, having like the whole COVID stuff, we can adjust to change pretty easily,” Lennox senior Madison Johnson said.
The high school is now waiting on the arrival of two pods to keep school equipment dry and two mobile classrooms for the the shop and ag classes.
“We’ll probably need that for about the next two months, while they complete restoration and provide a good solution for those two months for those kids to have some peace and quiet during their instruction,” Conaway said.
Water was still cascading down the interior walls Monday night. But crews finished repairing the roof on Wednesday. And the superintendent says getting students back in school so quickly, and safely, is a testament to the community’s resolve in the aftermath of a storm that put everyone to the test.
“The fact that we’re in the position that we’re in, all things considered, we’re doing pretty good,” Conaway said.
Storm damage to the school building is estimated at between $1 to $2-million. The superintendent says insurance will cover it.