On Wednesday afternoon, the exterior wall of Walnut Trails Elementary School had a gaping hole. A Shorewood resident with a medical condition had crashed through the building. Once the administration at Minooka Community Consolidated District 201 verified that no one had been in the classroom, they began addressing how to secure and repair the building.
"It's all brick and block and steel reinforced," MCCD 201 Superintendent Al Gegenheimer said. "We're going to board it up for now and then repair it."
Those repairs, though, will not be complete by the time students return after the winter break.
"We'll shift some classrooms around," he said.
Gegenheimer said the classroom right next to the one that was crashed into by the car is currently used for small group work. The kindergarten classroom that now needs to be repaired will likely move into that space. Gegenheimer said it will have less of an effect on the kids.
"They'll be right next door to where they used to be," he said.
The small group room will move to another location in the building.
The first step for the school is to secure the building. Then, before repairs can begin, the school will need to bring in an expert to look at the total damages.
"(The car) hit the wall along the wall where we have our unit ventilators," Gegenheimer said. "There was steam all over the classroom; you could barely see."
As far as returning to the school after break, Gegenheimer said the district will work with the classroom teacher to replace any items that were damaged.
"We'll make it work," he said. "She's a first-class lady."