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Kent City Awaiting Approval to Begin Repairs Following Storm Damage

The ceiling in the Kent City High School gymnasium remains partially open, a slice of blue sky visible from inside. On the gym floor, you can make out part of the Eagle mascot at the center.

Part of the gymnasium roof was blown off during 100 mile-per-hour straight-line winds April 13. The elementary cafeteria roof was also extensively damaged, as was that of the high school wrestling room. Water damaged much of what was in the rooms, including floors, score boards and operating systems.

Principal Bill Crane said every senior was given a 6-inch piece of the wooden gym floor where they spent many an hour at athletic events and during school hours, as the floor must be completely replaced.

Approximately $2 million in repairs at Kent City schools should begin this summer, pending approval from the state and the district’s insurance company, said Director of Operations Doug Weston. Work by Triangle Construction, of Grand Rapids, could continue into next fall.

“We’ll shoot for the start of school, but that’s asking quite a bit right now,” Weston said.

For now, things continue to get a good soak every time it rains. “There was rain coming in all over, and it’s been open ever since,” Weston said.

Crane said students and teachers have adjusted. Graduation for the Class of 2014 was held outdoors, a change students liked, he said. Physical Education classes were moved to the middle school gym.

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Kent City Community Schools

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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