Hurricane Laura damaged every campus in the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated Independent School District (LC-M). Some of the facilities suffered more damage than others.
A bit of good news is according to Entergy Texas all of the campuses in the district had power restored to them as of Wednesday night, September 2. This should help in the cleanup of some of the damage to them.
Superintendent Stacey Brister indicated all of the campuses suffered damage to their awnings which will affect the unloading and loading of students at those schools. There are also roof problems for several schools.
Little Cypress Elementary and the high school especially have roof damage. Brister said she was thankful the Orange Fire Department was riding out the storm in the LC-M High School and was able to somewhat deal with the rain coming into that building.
The Vocational Department also took a pretty big hit from the storm. That building has multiple problems with its roof.
Little Cypress Intermediate has awning issues and somewhat of a roof problem. The same is true for the Junior High.
Overall, the Mauriceville area of the school district was less seriously hit. Both the elementary and the middle school campuses fared very well according to Brister compared to the other four schools in the LC-M district.
Athletic facilities for the Little Cypress-Mauriceville district suffered damage. The superintendent pointed out the district will need to test and inspect the lights at all of its outside facilities.
Windows were blown out in the pressboxes of Battlin’ Bear Stadium, the softball field, and the Don Gibbens baseball field. The scoreboards at all three fields will be inspected in the next few days now that power has been restored to see if they are working properly.
The softball field had its outfield fence ripped out of the ground by Laura’s strong winds. The first base dugout at the baseball field was severely damaged as well.
Eight of the school buses had their stop sign arms blown off of them. State law requires these safety devices on all buses. Replacements have been ordered and will need to be installed before those buses can be used again.
Brister and the staff will be assessing the damage to determine when classes can begin again at the LC-M schools. All of the schools’ freezers will have to be cleaned out and sanitized. Fresh food will have to be delivered for the school cafeterias.
It is the day-to-day operations that will have to be addressed according to the superintendent. “Although the buildings may look normal on the outside it’s on the inside that we’ve got to get squared away making sure that we have our internet services to do all of our accountability, so there’s a lot of internal things that have to be checked out,” Brister advised.
Currently, Brister is planning to have the faculty return first to prepare for the resumption of classes. She hopes to start classes again on Monday, September 14.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-