JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The parents and 30 students of the preschool at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on Haynes Bridge Road love the school’s eight teachers, the learning atmosphere and the cozy quarters. That is until a pipe burst Sunday, Nov. 10, and flooded the school’s classrooms with 2 inches of standing water that did $40,000 in damages.
Now the school is making an appeal for donations to get the school back on its feet.
Katrina Sayers, Prince of Peace’s school director, said the damage was heart-sickening.
“We’ve lost over 100 books, destroyed shelving, furniture – I just went out to my car after I saw the damage and curled in a ball and cried,” Sayers said.
“But then Pastor [Thomas] Kenny reminded us of what people in the Philippines are going through,” she said. “Then I thought this is a chance to make the school better.”
Meanwhile, the students have been moved into the church’s fellowship hall.
The task is daunting. All of the carpeting and sheetrock will have to go, as well as a lot of teaching aids.
“As teachers, it takes years to build up your supplies and teaching aids. And then there were a lot of legacy materials from teachers who retired,” Sayers said.
Everything from crayons to calendars on the walls, color words and games are getting pitched.
Marge Higgins works at the church and now shares the one basement office with the pastors while things get put back to right. She lost 15 boxes of records that were stored on the floor.
“This was the nerve center of the church,” Higgins said. “The water soaked the ceiling tiles until they got too heavy and fell on top of the desks and everything. So things got soaked from above and below.”
Stuart Barton has a child in the preschool and came to help with the cleanup. He said they had recently held a chili cook-off as a fundraiser for school to buy mulch for the playground area.
“This is just a small church, and we would appreciate any help folks could give,” Barton said.
Barnes and Noble in Alpharetta has already stepped up. It is collecting books and other materials dropped off at its North Point Parkway location.
Others can help by direct donation to the school by calling Sayers at 770-475-4591 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The school also has a savings and discounts portal at www.poprewards.org that directly benefits the school.