West Whitesburg Elementary reopens to students

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 5:06 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2023 at 8:57 PM EDT
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WHITESBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - After more than a year of recovery from the July 2022 flood, students and staff returned to West Whitesburg Elementary School on Monday.

”Some of our students lost their homes. Lost everything, and lost their school. So, to be able to give them their school back, in a much better way. It’s beautiful. It’s updated. it’s a fabulous place that they’ll enjoy being,” said Letcher County Schools Superintendent Denise Yonts.

The school underwent a complete remodel after flood water heavily damaged the building.

The transition allowed administrators to install updates making the school safer.

“We’ve talked for years about the fact that we needed to build walls and go into this building for safety purposes. It’s much safer to have students behind closed, locked doors instead of the open concept,” said Denise Yonts.

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6

West Whitesburg staff and students had classes in Letcher County Central High School for a year before returning, which principal Stacy Fields said made the transition to a newer building easier.

“Going to Letcher Central last year was a good experience for us, and it kind of prepared them for what we’re coming into now, because our building is totally different in the layout,” said Stacy Fields.

Pre-school will begin at West Whitesburg Elementary next week. Administrators say West Whitesburg is the final Letcher County school to reopen since the flood.