CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - In pushing the start of school back to Sept. 5, the Corpus Christi Independent School District is able to make sure schools are cleaned up and secure for students when they return.
It's an effort going on 24-7 in order to get it all done before classes start.
"We've been keeping an eye on it and making sure, but every time we're out here we see something new," CCISD Police Officer Carlos Lazo said.
Since Hurricane Harvey hit the Coastal Bend, Lazo has been one of several police officers in the district monitoring the campuses in 12-hour shifts.
"We assess the damage from the hurricane because we want to have everything safe and secure as best as possible when the kids come back to school," Lazo said.
Originally scheduled to begin classes Monday, the district is taking the week after Harvey to inspect buildings and remove anything that could be dangerous for kids.
"To give principals the opportunity to come and assess their campuses, develop a plan to ensure that everything was reparable and the campuses were safe," said Angie Ramirez, Director of School Leadership for CCISD.
Several campuses remain without power but luckily there were no damages to the buildings.
"Wind damage just like everyone else," Lazo said. "Downed power lines, downed trees, palm leaves everywhere. Most of our schools have newly planted trees but they've kinda fallen over and they're in the way."
"My parents had texted me pictures, so I knew what was going on with the pavilion," said Aurelia Barrera, Principal of Berlanga Elementary School.
Some of the most serious damage included the pavilion covering a basketball court at Berlanga Elementary School. On Monday morning, crews began removing the cover to make it safe for students once again.
Other than that, it was mostly downed lines and uprooted trees, which the district is working to get removed or repaired.
And with the security systems and fire alarms fully functional, all the schools will be missing come Sept. 5 is students.
"We gotta get the kids back," Lazo said. "We need to make sure everything is good to go for them because we want it perfect for them when they get back."
"We'll be welcoming them with a smile and open arms," Principal Barrera said.
CCISD Director of School Leadership Angie Ramirez said she's unaware at this time whether the Texas Education Association will require the district to make up days missed.
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