It’s a step most people didn’t think would get here so quickly, but the Sanibel School is welcoming students back as of Wednesday morning.
The school has been closed since Hurricane Ian swept through Southwest Florida in September.
The community is happy about it.
They want to bring people back to the island and welcome students home.
The Sanibel School is pretty happy to be back, too.
San Carlos Park Elementary hosted the Sanibel School for about five months while the Lee County school district worked to return the school to safe conditions, which included restoring reliable power, drinking water, air conditioning system.
The Sanibel School has reopened after Hurricane Ian damaged it. (CREDIT: WINK News)
The school also needed a functional fire alarm and intercom, safe indoor air quality and debris cleanup, and the ability to serve food.
“Sanibel school is such a huge part of our community as a whole. We’re so excited to be back here,” said Jude Sincoskie, chair of the Parent-District Liaison Committee.
Chelsea Sweiss, a PTA committee member, said her daughter “jumped out of bed excited” for her return to school.
“There was no trouble like normal. She was very excited to be here,” Sweiss said.
Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith said the classrooms are not perfect; they may be missing flooring or ceiling tiles.
“We are in an imperfect world right now. But we’re going to grow into what we can be. So I’m really excited for these kids. And it’s really about the kids today and the teachers as well, because they’re coming home,” Smith said.
While the school is reopening for lessons, work is still to be done.
Contractors will continue working after school hours and on the weekends.