Taylor Elementary sees higher enrollment than pre-flood - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Taylor Elementary sees higher enrollment than pre-flood

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Taylor Elementary School was devastated by last June's record flood. But students are returning, and in greater numbers than before the disaster.

Families crowded Taylor Elementary on Monday, preparing their kids for the first day of class. Karlene Ayers used to be a student here, and says these rooms now feel a lot smaller. She was afraid the 2008 flood would close them forever.

"We're just glad that we got it back," said Ayers, her two daughters checking out their new classroom.

She was one dozens of people who fought to keep Taylor open, amidst concerns that the flood had displaced too many of its students. "I was concerned that it wouldn't open because of that, but I know how this neighborhood's a very strong, family-oriented neighborhood, and the neighborhood wasn't going to have it."

Even in the face of disaster, Taylor has grown by a few students. As of Monday afternoon, 270 had enrolled for the 2009 academic year, according to Superintendent David Benson.

"I think that's a great success story for the school district, it's a great success story for the neighborhood, the Taylor community in general, but also a success story for the city of Cedar Rapids," Dr. Benson told us.

He says families are coming back and reoccupying homes, and new students like Isaiah Pearson are coming from other areas.

"We heard a lot of good things about Taylor," said Pearson's father.

Kent Schulte says one year is a long time for a school to be out of commission, but he sees promise in Taylor's newly-renovated hallways. "I'd almost rather [my son] was somewhere that was established, and where everybody had their routine down, but the other side is, it could be a lot better than it used to be."

In the meantime, the district says there are still plenty of flood-related challenges for it to overcome. One of the big ones is figuring out where the district's offices, currently housed in FEMA trailers, will go next.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith 

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