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Walterville Elementary goes online temporarily following last week's flooding

Springfield School District
A desk inside a flooded classroom at Walterville Elementary in Walterville, Ore. Parts of the school were found flooded with 3 to 6 inches of water on Jan. 6.

Classes at Walterville Elementary will be held online temporarily starting, Tuesday Jan 11. That’s after 3 to 6 inches of flood water filled parts of its building last week.

Heavy rainfall caused the banks of the nearby Potter Creek to breach, causing water to seep into the building on Jan. 6.

In an email sent to parents and guardians, Principal Nicki Gorham said the contamination level of the water and the porous nature of the building means clean up and repair could take months.

Springfield School District spokesperson Jenna McCulley said remote learning will be temporary.

“There’s so much more into it than just the face to face time with the teachers, but the interactions with peers, the stability of schedule, the support services that we’re able to provide, so while we’re moving them temporarily online, it is intended to just be short-term," she said.

McCulley said the district has identified the former Mohawk Elementary School building as the location where students will eventually return to in-person learning in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, breakfast and lunch will still be available for students from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the back kitchen door of Waltervillle Elementary.

Copyright 2021 KLCC

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.