Rebuilding Burke: “A bad start to the best school year ever”

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BURKE, S.D. (KELO) – Classes were scheduled to begin on Tuesday in Burke until an EF-1 tornado and straight-line winds earlier this month exposed classrooms to elements.

Superintendent Erik Person is calling this “the worst start to the best school year ever.”

Classes will now begin on September 4.

Work is being done to make the campus safe, reconfigure the library to create more classrooms and clean-up the school.

A 50-person restoration crew from Illinois is doing much of the work. They’re also making permanent repairs to the roofs of several buildings. Much of this is possible because of the district’s insurance.

Every classroom will be cleaned, dried and tested for moisture levels before school begins, according to Person.

The district has created a plan to hold some music classes at a local church. Athletic practices will be at a neighboring school.

Trying to figure out what’s next for the district, whether a new addition or other significant change, will be part of on-going discussions with the community, Person said.

As for now, he’s looking ahead to welcoming kids back to school on Sept. 4.