MT. CALVARY – The smoke has cleared, however it was anything but a typical day at a Catholic boarding school in Fond du Lac County.
On Saturday, a fire destroyed portions of St. Lawrence Seminary in Mount Calvary.
Chuck Lefeber lost his classroom to the fire Saturday. So science class was moved to a new location.
“Kids are pretty adjustable, they adapt well. They are very respectful, so they know what it is going to take,” he said.
Pool tables are temporarily piled with backpacks as the school rec room is split into two classrooms.
The main classroom building which is attached to St. Joseph Hall suffered smoke and water damage and staff say they had to find creative ways to move 15 classrooms to other areas of campus.
“We have classrooms meeting in our library, in our art studio, in some of our activities rooms down in our gymnasium building, so we have some a little bit of everywhere, but we are holding fine,” said Philip Van Ermen, director of marketing and public/alumni relations.
Students like Andrew Nguyen say they’re taking the changes in stride.
“It’s a little interesting, we have to go everywhere from campus, I have to be from here across campus and then back here again, so it’s a little bit of a challenge but I think our students can get through it.”
School staff offices were also damaged in the fire. Monday they huddled in a small conference room, just off the school cafeteria, planning for the days ahead.
“Our strategic plans are what do we need to get done this week and then what do we need before the end of the semester,” said Van Ermen.
The cause of the fire isn’t yet known. Van Ermen says the main classroom building will be restored over the next two weeks and ready for students after they return from spring break.
“Everybody is so caring and they look out for one another, it’s really special,” said Lefeber.
As the catholic campus pulls together, relying on their faith to keep them going.
St. Joseph Hall was built in 1872. School officials say what’s left will have to be torn down, but they aren’t sure yet when that will happen or what will replace it.