Demolition begins on flooded Waverly school - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Demolition begins on flooded Waverly school

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by Danielle Wagner

WAVERLY (KWWL) With shattering glass, Benton Sand and Gravel began the demolition of Washington Irving Elementary in Waverly.

Built in 1951, Washington Irving sustained significant flood damage in 2008.

"There have been some real concerns this will flood again. Obviously it's not the first time it flooded and the state hydrologist and many people feel it won't be the last time. If we don't do something," said Waverly-Shell Rock Superintendent Jere Vyverberg.

Keri Spears and children with her daycare came down to watch the demolition.

"My two girls went to school here. The daycare kids, they like to watch the excavators and the dump trucks so we just came to see it," said Spears.

She said it's bittersweet to watch.

"We have a six-year-old at home too. So he'll get to enjoy the new school. It is very sad for us to see it go. The flood was a tragedy, but we're excited for the new school," said Spears.

The Waverly-Shell Rock School District decided to take two of the most frequently flooded schools - Irving and the junior high - and build one middle school.

It's already under construction and should cost around $23 million. About $10 million is from FEMA, Homeland Security and Rebuild Iowa. The rest is a $15.9 million bond approved by voters.

"Without community support and the passage of the bond referendum last year this would not have been able to occur," said Vyverberg.

Vyverberg said if everything goes as planned, there could be money to spare and that will be paid back to the bond.

Demolition of Washington Irving Elementary should take two to three weeks.

The new middle school is scheduled to be completed in August 2011. The school will include a safe room for tornadoes.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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