Nearly 200 Orange County Public Schools are getting ready to re-open after being closed for more than a week because of Hurricane Irma.
- Orange County Public Schools reopen Monday
- Over a dozen schools were used as hurricane shelters
- Several schools had damage, no power
But to do that, custodians and maintenance workers will have a lot of cleaning up to do this weekend.
The clean up process is well underway at Meadow Woods Middle School in Orange County.
"They're cleaning all the walls, their cleaning all the floors. They're cleaning and sanitizing, which is very important," said Kevin Ballinger, the department head for OCPS Custodial Services.
That's because the facility served as an emergency shelter, keeping up to 230 people safe during Hurricane Irma.
On Monday, OCPS is expected to go back to its traditional role, educating students.
"We're going to have to make adjustments with our focus calendars and our assessment calendars, but we're happy to see our Stallions back and making them feel at home," explained Marisol Mendez, who serves as the principal of Meadow Woods Middle School.
Meadow Woods also played host to a celebrity guest during the storm.
"Yes, we actually had Kristen Bell, better known as Anna from "Frozen," actually chose our school. That was a very special treat on Sunday," Mendez shared.
Meanwhile, school leaders know there will be an adjustment period across the district.
"Getting back to a routine and helping them through the transition. Some of those students may not have power yet, so we're making our counselors very aware to extent themselves, if they need to talk to someone," Mendez added.
However, the district is counting on 1,100 custodians to play a key role in making sure all 191 schools ready for students on Monday.
"Each school had its own uniqueness. Some schools you go to, you may have trees down, you may have signs leaning over, marquees could destroyed, roof shingles could be on the ground," Ballinger explained.
According to Lauren Roth, who serves as the OCPS Senior Manager for Facilities Communications:
- As of Friday at 4 p.m., about five schools in the district are still without power
- An additional 8 schools have partial power
- About 67 of 191 schools received moderate to minor roof damage
- 28 of 191 schools had some sort of water damage, which included flooding into classrooms or hallways
- School lunchrooms had to throw out food and restock
Crews have been working on repairs since Tuesday.