Volunteers help rebuild St. Mary's School in Ellis

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ELLIS, Kan. (KAKE) -

Volunteers are helping to rebuild a Catholic school after a severe storm caused extensive damage to the building last month.

"It was quick. Just a few seconds. That's all it was. I heard some things hitting the door of the rectory and some glass breaking," said Father Dana Clark, pastor of St. Mary's Parish. "I got a phone call from a neighbor across the street and he said, 'You just lost the roof to your school.'"

Since July 25th, volunteers have been helping the school clean up after the storm and restore the building to working condition.

Most of the damage was on the east wall of the gym and the roof above it. 

An engineer and architect determined that the wall could be supported with temporary bracing. But, the start of school would have to be delayed until September 10th.

"That's not bad compared to the option of getting mobile classrooms in and all that hassle. I don't think the kids will mind two weeks," said Lois Aschenbrenner, volunteer. 

She is one of many volunteers who are donating their time to help the school.

Father Clark said there is still much work to be done but he is grateful for the volunteer efforts.

"I think sometimes God allows things to happen to bring people together. That's what happened. It's brought community together, other people together to pitch in and help out. So, I think sometimes we need that in order to realize what's really important," said Father Clark.

To volunteer, check in at the school no earlier than 9 a.m. at 605 Monroe Street in Ellis.

To make a monetary donation: 
Equity Bank
Attn: St. Mary's 
PO Box 255
Ellis, KS 67637

For more updates about St. Mary's School, click here.