GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Hampton Elementary was one of three schools in the Guilford County Schools district that will not be reopening for the rest of the 2017-2018 school year after a tornado ravaged the building Sunday.
School leaders say the damage is so bad that teachers aren't allowed in to their classrooms - it's just not safe. But one person who was able to get inside was State Representative Amos Quick III. Before taking office in Raleigh, Representative Quick served on the Guilford County Schools Board of Education for more than a decade. Hampton Elementary was one of the schools in his district. Now, he says it's unrecognizable.
"The roof is gone, a large portion of it," he explains. "All of the mobile classrooms are destroyed, just utterly destroyed. The front door - I stepped through the glass. We didn't have to open the door. I stepped through the glass. There's glass and debris and water everywhere."
Representative Quick has been working with New Light Missionary Baptist Church and the community to collect supplies and necessities for those impacted by the storm. The church gym has turned into a donation distribution center of sorts, with food, water, clothes and other goods ready to go into the communities. But the damage to Hampton Elementary, along with Peeler Open Elementary and Erwin Montessori, will take a long time to clear away.
"Probably the most upsetting part was when you saw the toys and the learning tools and the books all water logged and thrown everywhere," Representative Quick tells. "That made it real for me and let me see that this is going to have a real impact on children and families."
The district has a relocation plan in the works as teachers from the affected schools are collecting new supplies and moving into their new, temporary classrooms. Starting Monday, Peeler students will be going to Bluford Elementary, Hampton students will be moving to Reedy Fork Elementary and Erwin Montessori students will be going to Hampton Elementary.