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Two Years Post-Quake, Cantor Praises Progress - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Two Years Post-Quake, Cantor Praises Progress

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Representative Eric Cantor (R) 7th District Representative Eric Cantor (R) 7th District

Two years after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake rocked central Virginia, the healing process is still underway.

Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor returned Wednesday to the area in Louisa County that experienced major damage, finding life is still moving forward.

"It's a team effort, it's a can-do spirit here in Louisa," Cantor said.

Cantor toured Trevilians Elementary School, which completed repairs from earthquake damage earlier this summer. He also toured the temporary home of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School - mobile classrooms, packed with students displaced by damage.

"We're still in two mobile schools, temporary facilities," Louisa County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Deborah Pettit said, "but our students and staff have not missed a  beat."

Wednesday's visit to Louisa is Cantor's third earthquake-related trek. He first surveyed the initial aftermath of the earthquake a day after it struck in August of 2011. He received an update on Louisa County High School's progress earlier this year.

"Working together with the community, with parents, with the kids, this is really how it's done," Cantor said. "Some expertise that Louisa County now has as a result of the disaster that I think could benefit many more districts across the commonwealth and the country."

Pettit says school and county leaders are still working to secure funding needed for repairs, but in the meantime the county must keep looking forward.

"I think that is critical when you are trying to restore normalcy in any kind of a disaster," Pettit said, "is to get back to a routine and be as normal as possible."

There is now an aggressive timeline to get the two schools most damaged by the quake back up and running. Thomas Jefferson Elementary will open in a new building one year from now, in August 2014. Groundbreaking for a new Louisa County High School took place Wednesday night. The school is slated for a 2015 opening.

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