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School repairs continue

Another round of cold lunches is on the menus for students today at Morgan Fitzgerald Middle and Pinellas Park High schools. Repairs are continuing at the two schools after their brush with a tornado Saturday.

Roof repairs and window replacements top the job list, school Area Superintendent Bette Ra Ivey said. There also are fences and metal trim to replace.

The two schools sit across from each other on 118th Avenue N east of 66th Street.

On the Fitzgerald campus, a trailer that housed Florida Highway Patrol Officer Steven Harris and his family was destroyed. There were no injuries reported.

Ivey said hot lunches may return to Fitzgerald by Wednesday, but it will be a longer wait for Pinellas Park High. The tornado broke several windows in Pinellas Park's kitchen. Not only were exhaust stacks damaged, but "everything flew in" the windows, Ivey said.

Besides patching the roofs, debris provided the biggest challenge for the 100-plus school workers who put in overtime Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Besides cleaning up the trash, workers raked the area for nails and glass.

"Our biggest expense will be in people time," said Ivey, who did not have an estimate of the costs.

Workers did not get to the Pinellas Park football field. The field was littered with glass and other debris and the goal posts and scoreboard were damaged. Ivey said the Patriots' home game Friday against Dixie Hollins likely will be moved to another field.

School was open Monday, although the weekend events apparently kept some away. At Fitzgerald, 160 students did not come to school, officials said. That is about 60 more than normal. Numbers were not available at Pinellas Park.

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