Monroe County Recovery School

Monroe County Recovery School


Solution Type: Specialty
Scope Of Project: 60,000+ square feet
Time To Occupancy: 38 days

The Monroe County Recovery School was a disaster recovery project in response to an EF-5 tornado that struck Smithville, Mississippi on a late afternoon in April. It devastated the town and left a damage path five miles long and half a mile wide. Before the tornado, Smithville was a small, full service town with a main street dotted with structures that had been built in the early 20th century. In a matter of moments, the tornado destroyed the entire Main Street and most of the town’s homes, town hall, police station, post office, grocery store, and churches. It also severely damaged the community’s beloved school.

Although knocked down by nature, Smithville was not knocked out by any means. FEMA’s Long Term Community Recovery team as well as town members pulled together to plan the town’s long term recovery in five areas: education, community services, economic development, housing, and infrastructure. In the interim, the town needed some immediate solutions to return to a semblance of normalcy. Williams Scotsman was called in to help reach that much needed normalcy as quickly as possible.

During the course of 38 days, we prepared and assembled twenty six modular buildings and modular classrooms to create an elementary school for the students and faculty displaced by the tornado. The modular K-12 school campus provided all the key parts any school needs to function successfully: a cafeteria, media center, music lab, classrooms, computer labs, offices, and ancillary space.

In times of natural disasters, we cannot undo the damage but our solutions support the “can do” attitude of people determined to come back better and stronger than before.