United Day Nursery
Flood of 1997
Back Home Again
The UDN Moving Company
United Day Nursery Director Suzie Thorson writes...
In between the meetings, grant writing, and regular administrative duties, we had to move
from school to school because of mold first, then back again, then because of asbestos,
then back again, so they could clean the school for the fall session - then HOME TO
UNITED LUTHERAN CHURCH. For me the moves were simply something we had to do to take care
of the children. It took a lot of muscle and was very tiring but it had to be done.
The staff was fantastic - it was the working together (including our families) that
made it possible.
Our first home away from home was the Head Start Building, next to Lake Agassiz school.
As our enrollment increased during the month of May, some of our children moved to classrooms
in Lake Agassiz School.
On June 17, black mold was discovered in Lake Agassiz School, and we were evacuated to Ben
Franklin School. We returned to Lake Agassiz the following Monday, June 23, after the mold
had been removed. The remaining United Day Nursery classes moved out of the Head Start Building
into Lake Agassiz School at this time, as Head Start needed their classrooms for their summer
On July 28, we had to move again, this time to Winship School. Lake Agassiz School was closed
so asbestos could be removed. We had to be extra careful at Winship because the building had
already been cleaned for the start of school in the fall.
On August 5, the power was restored to United Lutheran Church, and we started cleaning and
setting up at United. Temporary classrooms were set up on the second floor for the Spectrum
children, who lost their classroom in the flood. Our lunches were catered in as we had lost
the kitchen in the flood.
On August 13, we returned HOME TO UNITED! We celebrated by holding our annual
parade around the block. Most years, we do this around the Fourth
of July, but 1997 was not a normal year in Grand Forks.
Go to Chapter Six...
How did we survive all the moves from school to school?
United Day Nursery staff members write...
- Pioneer Spirit. We work here because we love kids and will do what it takes to
protect and nurture them. - Sandy Wilson
- With the Grace of God and a lot of dedicated teachers. - Sheila Wright
- With hope and faith that it will be better in time - and it has been. - Patty Sobolik
- We just took each day as it came. We looked forward to some of the moves because it meant
some progress was being made. It was hard work. - Roseann Koppy
- The moves from school to school were hard, but we always seemed to manage. - Marilyn Yanish
- We survived because we had to for the sake of the kids. - Christie Taylor
- Keeping calm and not letting each move bother you. - Lisa Litzinger
- The moves were an incredible amount of work. There was also something hopeful in each move
in that you felt that much closer to getting back to United. - Bill Roberts
- The kids thought it was neat - new toys, rooms, and playgrounds to use. - Kitrina Pede
What were your thoughts when we finally got back to United Lutheran Church?
United Day Nursery staff members write...
- Thank the Good Lord! - Jan Marto
- I was happy to be back. I was a little worried the heat wouldn't be on in time, but everything
worked out good. - Yvette Berard
- Thank you to God and everyone that stuck with us to get going again. - Marilyn Yanish
- It was great! It was great to be back in your own room with your own things. - Christie Taylor
- It was great to be back, but sad because of the many rooms destroyed and equipment lost.
- Lila Jane Nelson
- We're home! I don't care what shape we were in, we were back to stay. - Sheila Wright
- It was such a relief to finally be on familiar ground. - Heather Zabel
- Was the playground going to be ready? Where were we going to eat without a cafeteria?
How were the cooks going to make meals without a kitchen? - Roseann Koppy
- Relief - very happy to be back. Longing for the Spectrum we lost. - Mary Dalzell
- Great! It felt like we had just made a giant step toward recovery. - Brenda D.
The Spectrum children moved to second floor classrooms
Back to our own playground
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