July 28, 2014
In just minutes, Louisa County schools lost 40 percent of their student capacity to a 5.8 earthquake in 2011.
Since then, the students and teachers had to make due with a temporary campus on the soccer field of Trevilians Elementary School.
But after three years, Thomas Jefferson Elementary students finally have a school to call their own.
Sharing is a valuable lesson for elementary school students. But after years of sharing a cafeteria, gym, and classrooms, students and teachers are ready to settle into a more permanent home.
Superintendent Deborah Pettit said it’s a long time coming.
“I’m feeling so happy, so relieved for our whole community and for the staff and students here at Thomas Jefferson. It’s been a long three years for them."
The earthquake that rattled Mineral in 2011 left the elementary school past the point of repairing. It had to be demolished and rebuilt from scratch.
The ribbon cutting tour gave students the chance to walk around the new building and brought home to them the fact that they won’t be going to school in trailers any more.
"I got to see my teachers name on her new room."
The move is a little bittersweet for students like Anna Palmer and former student Samantha Watson.
"I guess I learned to like it, now I guess I kind of miss it."
"A lot of memories were made there, but I’m really glad we have a new school because the other one was starting to become run down and in poor shape. So having a new school makes me feel happy that future generations will have a better school than I did."
The new school has updated heating and cooling features that weren't possible at the previous aging structure, and is equipped to handle growth.
But most importantly, how do the students feel about their new school?
"I love it."
"I like it."