Houston students return to class after Alaska earthquake

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HOUSTON, Alaska (AP) — Students from a middle school in south-central Alaska have returned to class for the first time after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake damaged their school building.

More than 700 Houston students were fitted into classrooms inside the high school building and 13 temporary buildings on the campus Monday, KTUU-TV reported .

Middle school students were moved to the neighboring campus because the Nov. 30 quake compromised every structural wall at the school, Houston principal Ben Howard said.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District supplied 13 portable classrooms for the sixth- and seventh-graders while eighth-graders transitioned early to the high school building.

Combining the two schools was not an easy task, Howard said

"We are using every bit of space that's in the building, and so even what may be used to be a closet at one point is now an office," Howard said. "And so we are just going to try to make it work so the kids have the best education they can get."

Besides sorting the spaces to fit in the middle school students, things like drop-offs and bus schedules were easy to transition because of the proximity of the two schools, school administrators said.

The earthquake hit 7 miles (11 kilometers) north of Alaska's biggest city. Houston is about 60 miles (96 kilometers) north of Anchorage.


Information from: KTUU-TV, http://www.ktuu.com

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