School districts still struggling to rebuild following July 2022 flood

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 5:45 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WHITESBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - Following the July 2022 flood, school districts in the region were impacted.

Since then, many school districts continue to rebuild following the devastation the flood left behind.

Letcher County Schools might have all of their schools back in their buildings but, officials said they still have a long way to go.

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

Superintendent Denise Yonts said they want to build better.

”We want our buildings to be the best that they can be and our goal is to build back better to where we were before and I think that we’ve definitely done that,” she said.

Assistant Superintendent Josh Yonts said most projects are almost complete.

”In 2023, they started the second semester, they weren’t 100 percent complete, but they were safe and suitable for students and we’re still working on those. They’re almost complete, I would assume probably 90, 95 percent completion on both of those,” he explained.

He said they still have a long way to go for several projects.

“We’ve got some work at the Fleming-Neon gym and the Whitesburg Middle School football field, other than that, we’re progressing at a pretty good rate,” he said.

However, he said projects are expected to total approximately $20 million.

“Which kind of makes that 20 million sound like a pretty good estimate, because we still work at a couple of our athletic complexes, finishing touches on our buildings and our alternative education building still hasn’t been touched to the extent of our others,” he explained. “When it first hit, we were thinking, ‘That’s astronomical.’ But now you’re 12 million in and you’re like, ‘Well, I still see a lot of work of things to be done.’”

Denise Yonts said it’s important to give students the best environments to learn from.

Adding that she is optimistic for the future.

“It lets you know that we can do it, we can still do it even though there’s a lot to do, there’s a long list that we want to complete and finish. But we’ve come so far in a year that that stuff seems to be minor and that we’ll make it to that end goal,” she explained.

Officials said they hope to have all of the renovations completed by next school year.