TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – As school officials continue to help students displaced by the Memorial Day tornaodes, city officials in Trotwood say they’re talking with developers about building new housing.
According to officials, the Memorial Day tornadoes left 363 students in the Trotwood-Madison school district displaced.
According to city officials, several organizations donated thousands of backpacks filled with supplies to Trotwood students. Every student in the Trotwood-Madison school district received a backpack for the new school year, school board member Norman Scearce confirmed Sunday.
More donated backpacks filled with school supplies are set to be distributed at Mother Brunner Catholic School in Trotwood on Monday, according to city officials.
As the city school district heads into its second week of the new school year, school officials tell 2 NEWS they want to maintain a sense of normalcy for students who have lost so much.
“Morale is absolutely phenomenal,” said Norman J. Scearce, member of the Trotwood-Madison Board of Education. “I was at all of the schools the very first day. The teachers are ready to teach. The students are ready to learn.”
The district is running extra vehicles to transport Trotwood students displaced to other school districts, Scearce said. Some of those students are currently living as far as away as Miamisburg, he added.
“We have dedicated two additional buses as well as vans for students that have been displaced,” Scearce said.
According to Scearce and Mayor Mary McDonald, any extra donated backpacks not distributed to students in Trotwood will be given to other school districts.
“To see the smile on the faces of the kids when they get these new bookbags, some of them said, ‘Oh, I’ve got one,'” McDonald said. “But when they look inside, it’s like Christmas all over again.”
The focus of the recovery right now in the city is rebuilding and bringing new housing to Trotwood, Mayor McDonald said. That includes potential construction on the former Salem Mall site, which city officials are discussing with two developers, she added.
“We are looking at illustrations, and we’re looking at kind of what we want to see there,” McDonald said. “Definitely a mixed-use [site] in terms of businesses, homes, apartments.”
It’s too early to tell exactly how many of the displaced students are staying with the district, Scearce said. Last month, district officials told 2 NEWS most of them planned to return.
The Trotwood Disaster Relief Fund has received more than $25,000 so far, Mayor McDonald said. Donations can be made to the fund at any Fifth Third Bank or sent to the Trotwood government center on Olive Road, she said.