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Castlewood schools still recovering from May storms

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Rusche, Jordan
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Temporary classrooms in Castlewood are full of students. The move comes as the community continues to recover from a severe May storm that included a tornado.

The elementary school walls collapsed, and the district’s bus barn was destroyed in the storm.

Despite the damages and a short timeframe, district superintendent Peter Books said classes are up and running.

“Kindergarten and first grade are in the American Lutheran Church and third fourth and fifth are in the Presbyterian Church, and that is causing a lot of logistics with volunteers bring lunches every day,” Books said.

Books said volunteers are serving lunch at each location. One example of community support. He said the district is preparing modular classrooms.

“We’re waiting on one right now, the other nine are here," Books said. "We’re hoping in the next couple of days that we’ll get the module classrooms set. Being able to start skirting on the bottom and wiring, and once we get that accomplished, we can actually move in, and the teachers can physically move in.”

Those modular classrooms will have all the amenities of a modern classroom.

“We’ll have Wi-Fi and all of our screens and devices and we’re gonna put telephones out there," Books said. "We know its going to at least be two school years, maybe longer, so we’re gonna make it the best situation we can possibly make it.”

Despite the challenges, Superintendent Books said students are excited to be back in school.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering education, healthcare, arts and culture.