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Tornado Damage Will Keep Kathleen Middle Closed Until Next Week

Work at Kathleen Middle School in Lakeland will take the next several months after it was struck by a tornado from Tropical Storm Nestor. KATHLEEN MIDDLE SCHOOL/FACEBOOK

Kathleen Middle School will remain closed until next week as workers continue to clean up damage spawned by a tornado from Tropical Storm Nestor over the weekend.

In a message sent to families on Tuesday, officials at the Lakeland school said teachers will return this week to prepare their classrooms, and the school will reopen on Monday.

Work to fully repair the school, however, will continue for the next “several months.”

“We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this process,” the message read.

Maintenance and custodial workers are installing portable classrooms and bathrooms while assessing the damage, according to a Polk County Public Schools news release.

On Sunday, the school launched a GoFundMe page to collect money to assist with restocking school supplies damaged by the storm, including textbooks.

The school also announced on its Facebook page that it is accepting donations for items such as school supplies – including paper, pens, highlighters, crayons and markers – and other items, including cleaning wipes and plastic storage bags.

Items can be dropped off at the Polk Education Association office, 730 E. Davidson St. in Bartow, and checks or money orders can be mailed to the Polk Education Foundation, 1530 Shumate Dr., Bartow, FL 33830. Donations can also be made on the Polk County Schools website.

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