CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Mark Mueller, lead administrator for Trinity Lutheran School, noted the timing of the line of storms that swept through Cedar Rapids on Monday night. The school’s former principal only just left to pursue another job, leaving Mueller in charge of a big mess.
“He left just in time,” Mueller said, laughing. He pointed out several areas of the building that will need to be patched up and then repaired before more severe weather moves in.
“The gym floor we’re standing on, alone, is going to be well over $40,000, so we’re figuring hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage.”
However, Mueller and many of the school’s teachers are looking at this as an opportunity to grow and come back better than ever.
“Our attitude isn’t just going to be about fixing and repairing, we’re going to make some definite improvements to our physical plants,” Mueller said. “We’ve got a nice facility as it is, but it’s a good opportunity to upgrade.”
Mueller said the school is blessed with a network of people who were already calling him to give whatever help they could on Monday morning.
“We have 42 different churches - congregations - represented in our school. Many of them have called to ask how they can assist us in clean up, because evidently they’ve heard about our situation already.”
Trinity holds about 200 kids, Kindergarten through 8th grade. 5th grade teacher and boys basketball coach Josh Nimmer echoed what Mueller said about the school having a lot of backing from parents and congregation members.
“From what I’ve noticed in my short time here, only a couple years, we have a lot of support from the community and the congregation,” said Nimmer.
The clock is ticking, however, to rebuild the gym floor. This is a space used by intramural teams and a mid-winter basketball tournament, and Nimmer said gym space is at a premium this time of year.
“This year we had schools from 3 or 4 different states, so schools come from all over, and that’s a big event that we’re getting known for,” Nimmer told us.