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Kathleen Middle Celebrates a Year of Progress After Tornado Strike

Kathleen Middle Celebrates a Year of Progress After Tornado Strike

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Exterior photo of Kathleen Middle after repairs

It’s been quite a year for Kathleen Middle.

On Oct. 18, 2019, a tornado left KMS with extensive roof damage to its main building, gymnasium and classrooms. In the aftermath, school and district staff scrambled to assess the damage and begin cleanup efforts, while making arrangements for students to return to campus safely. Community organizations and individuals helped ease the strain by donating supplies.

“Our campus looked like a battlefield,” Principal Sheila Gregory said. “But my students and staff met every challenge, and they’ve been the epitome of resiliency. The Kathleen community has been so supportive and generous; we couldn’t do this without them.”

Photo of the roof damage at Kathleen Middle

Kathleen Middle under construction

Today, KMS is starting to look like its old self. Members of the media were invited to visit the campus on Monday, nearly a year to the date of the devastating tornado strike.

The main building’s roof at KMS is finished and interior work will begin soon. A number of the damaged classrooms have been restored and are back in service. Repairs to the gymnasium continue.

More than $5 million has been spent thus far, but there is still much to be done — the restoration project is targeted for completion by December 2021.

But one thing is for certain: Kathleen Middle, which was built in 1928, isn’t ready for the history books quite yet.

“We are ecstatic to see the progress so far, and we can’t wait until everything is finished,” Gregory said. “Together, we are Kathleen Strong!”

An aerial photo of the repaired Kathleen Middle