Early Start to Summer after School Destroyed

By Mark Geary, Reporter

The weight room at Aplington-Parkersburg High School Tuesday, May 27, 2008, in Parkersburg. A tornado tore through the city Sunday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Tools

By Becky Ogann

PARKERSBURG - The Aplington-Parkersburg school district is trying to plan for the future.

About 240 students attended Aplington-Parkersburg High School. This was supposed to be their final week of classes. Then, the tornado changed everything.

Many teenagers dream of getting an early start on their summer vacation. These students just wish they could have their school back.

"There's just too many memories. It's really hard to see it destroyed like that," said Kaily Studnick, a high school student.

Even though classes are cancelled for the rest of the school year, dozens of students came back to the building to clean up the mess.

Next fall, students will take classes at the middle school. The superintendent wants to rebuild the high school as soon as possible.

"It's pretty obvious it needs to come down. That's a sad thing. But, at the same time, it gives us a chance to look at our site, look at exactly what we want in a high school, and build it better than it was before," said Jon Thompson, Aplington-Parkersburg Superintendent.

Losing the school that stood strong and united this community since the 1960's is tough, but it could have been much worse.

"We're just thankful it didn't happen during school, like at graduation, because it collapsed pretty bad," said Whitney Voss, a high school student.

Perhaps the only good part about all this is that students don't have to take final exams.

"I had a big science test and an intro to business test and that's the only thing I'm happy about because I don't have to take them," said Kelsey Miller, a high school student.

The Aplington Parkersburg Falcons may have fallen for now, but everyone associated with the school promises they will soar again soon.

The superintendent plans to hold a meeting with students, parents and teachers to discuss the future of the high school sometime over the next few weeks.

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