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Benson Middle School copes with storm damage

Plans are firm to open on time
Posted at 6:41 PM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-19 21:41:57-04
BENSON, ARIZ (KGUN9-TV) - Big storms could be brewing today, while a Middle School in Benson works to recover from a storm that hit hard on July 1st..
 
All across Southern Arizona schools are getting ready to open.  In Benson, Benson Middle School opens a week from Thursday but they have an extra, serious challenge that goes beyond putting together papers and books.  They have to adjust to some serious storm damage.
 
When the microburst hit, the water rushed down the street, gushed out of the storm culverts, and pushed through the walls of Benson Middle School.
 
Soon Principal Tammara Ragsdale was getting a call that water was at least ankle deep through about a wing's worth of her school.
 
"As the Principal, again, you just have to roll with the punches.  You take whatever you get and you have to make the best of it."
 
Making the best of it means moving six classes, about 140 students, into alternate spaces, while workers pull out soaked rugs and saw out foot-high swaths of wallboard so mold won't get started. 
 
Benson's School Superintendent Micah Mortensen says it helps that the Middle School can borrow space from Elementary and High Schools just a short walk away.
 
"We're ready to go.  It's going to look a feel a little bit different.  It's going to be a bit of a construction zone on campus but we're ready to go.  Our staff is ready and we're excited for school to start."