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Waverly-Shell Rock Breaks Ground on New Middle School

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WAVERLY - Rebuilding after the flood. A new school will replace the one flood waters severely damaged last year.

Students were never able to get back into that Waverly-Shell Rock school, and since then they've attended classes in an old shopping mall.

But now they're getting a new school that will accommodate more students and put more grades under one roof.

The new Middle School should be ready in 2011 and will sit along 6th street southwest and highway three.

The building will take two schools, an elementary school for fifth and sixth graders, and a junior high for seventh and eight graders, and put them all here, far from the flood plain.

Nearly 18 months after the flood of 2008 hit Waverly, this is what the old Washington Irving Elementary School is used for, a bus stop.

"We knew we wouldn't be able to go back into the old Irving, so let's do this the right way and put four grades together for a Middle school," Superintendent Jere Vyverberg said.

For the Waverly Shell Rock School District, it's a groundbreaking for a new middle school for grades five six seven and eight. Except crews were moving plenty of earth before the fancy shovels dug in.

People gathered to mark this new start in Waverly, yet a half mile away at the temporary Washington Irving Elementary School set in a former strip mall, the Principal said his teachers and students are ready for the basics.

Washington Irving Principal Roger Wilcox said, "We'll actually have windows, light switches, we'll actually have walls that go all the way to the ceiling."

Also included in the $22-million dollar project is a safe room. The room will hold 1,350 people during a tornado. A high wind gust and it will have backup generator so lights are not a problem.

Vyverberg calls the safe room, which will double as the auditorium, one of the first in the state.

Vyverberg says that room is also secure, meaning people inside would be safe during a possible attack.

He also said with FEMA funding, the total cost should come in under the $19-million dollars voters approved in April.

They plan to have the new middle school ready for August 1st, 2011.

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