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Tuesday marked the fourth time in five years that Hanover School District 28 had to delay its first day of school.

Monday’s wicked hailstorm damaged every vehicle in the district’s fleet except one, said Superintendent Grant Schmidt.

That bus was not at school when hailstones as big as softballs pounded the area 40 miles southeast of Colorado Springs.

Classes were to have resumed for the fall semester Tuesday, but the district had to postpone the start of school until Wednesday.

“Some of the buses and vans will be declared totaled,” said Schmidt, who was awaiting word from an insurance adjuster. “The repairs (to others) will take a couple of weeks to complete.”

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Hail also hammered 150 employees’ cars in Widefield School District 3, south of Colorado Springs, while teachers and other staff attended a new teacher orientation Monday, said spokeswoman Samantha Briggs.

D-3’s Mesa Ridge High, Janitell Junior High, Webster Elementary and Talbott STEAM Innovation School had been damaged by the June 13 hailstorm, which hit roofs, windows and skylights.

In Hanover, Schmidt reached out to neighboring districts to see if they could lend vehicles to shuttle students to and from school.

Edison School District 54-JT, Ellicott School District 22 and Colorado Springs School District 11 agreed to do so until Hanover’s fleet can be fixed.

“This experience is another example of how well districts work with one another as needed in the Pikes Peak and Pueblo regions,” Schmidt said.

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In previous years, Hanover D-28, a small rural district of about 275 students, was forced to delay the first day of school because of a washed-out bridge, tumbleweeds on the roads and a broken water pump.

“And now this,” Schmidt said.

Two fires in April also affected the schools, as flames came up to the athletic fields of the Junior-Senior High School. Three students lost their homes, and half of another student’s home was wiped out in the fires.

“Our district and community are ready for a reprieve from all of the recent activity,” Schmidt said. “We all deserve a calmer future.”

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.

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