Editor’s note: Mary Liz Cronk, an intern for the Reporter Newspapers, is a senior at the Lovett School. She chronicles the impact the historic Atlanta flood has had on the Buckhead school.
By Mary Liz Cronk
Around lunchtime on Sept. 21, torrential rains caused the Chattahoochee River to overflow its banks and begin flooding our campus.
Due to its riverbank location, Lovett’s campus took an especially rough hit. The river field began filling up with water in the morning, and as the rain progressed, water began to creep onto the football stadium field. The water rose several feet and reached up to the stadium seats.
The school’s pond eventually breached and flooded the front of the school with several feet of water. The immense amount of water caused school to be closed for two days.
Even after the water receded a couple days later, damage was still evident. An emergency relief team was brought in and worked around the clock for six weeks to restore the damage sustained on the campus.
While the upper school was left undamaged, Lovett’s community center suffered extensive damage, most notably the loss of electricity in the cafeteria and the flooding of the theater and chapel.
As a result of these areas being closed for rehabilitation, the upper school had to make some hard adjustments.
Due to the closing of the dining hall, the school’s food staff served sandwiches to students in the upper school lobby. Once a week restaurant meals such as Chick-Fil-A and Mellow Mushroom were served, and in an effort to ease the stress on the food service staff, Thursdays were brown-bag days where students brought their own lunches from home.
Because students have been unable to use the theater and chapel for the past month, all events took place in the school’s two gyms. Morning announcements, weekly assemblies and chapel services took place in the Wallace Gym, and the homecoming variety show was moved to the Glover Gym.
Homecoming, which had been planned to take place on Lovett’s home field against Cross Keys, was postponed a week due to the flood damage in the stadium. Instead, this game was played versus Westminster on Friday Oct. 2 at Woodward Academy in College Park, where the homecoming court was announced following the cheerleader’s halftime dance.
Thanks to the relief team and maintenance staff’s nonstop help, most areas of the campus are now functioning back to normal. The cafeteria and theater have just been reopened for use, and the football team played for the first time on its home field on Oct. 20.
Lovett students and faculty’s cooperation during the turmoil helped make the rehabilitation process much easier.
In addition, a relief effort for families hit hard by the flooding in metro Atlanta was organized by Lovett’s Student Government Association and the Service Board and was executed only 24 hours after the incident.
Not only did middle- and upper-school students fill about 15 boxes of toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and diapers, but the upper school alone raised $2,000 for flood relief.
The flood relief donations were sent to the American Red Cross, the Southwest Ecumenical Emergency Assistance Center and the Center for Family Resources.
Everyone in the Lovett community is very impressed with the progress and sacrifices that students and faculty members made during their school’s recovery. When called to action, Lovett is able to do amazing things.