Updated: Thursday, 02 Aug 2012, 12:40 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 01 Aug 2012, 11:10 PM EDT
HENRYVILLE, Ind. (WISH) - Five short months after tornadoes tore through Henryville High School, construction is nearly complete – and school will start for students there next week.
Two tornadoes hit the school back in March, now just five months ago. Since then elementary through high school kids have been bused 20 minutes away to finish out the school year.
With hard work from construction companies, teachers started getting their classrooms ready, back in Henryville.
24-Hour News 8 got an inside look at the school, for the first time since the tornado.
Roberta Cooper, an Elementary Teacher Aide, saw the high school for the first time on Wednesday.
She said she was a bit apprehensive to see it at first: she was one of the dozens of people still inside the school when the tornado hit.
“We walked through, me and my son, trying to find a way out, so I know what it looked like, down these hallways.”
Cooper looked around though, saying, “This is good. I’m so excited. It’s beautiful,” she added. “My little kids are going to be so happy to go back to school over there.”
The tornadoes left holes in classrooms, the main gym, and ripped the roof off much of the building.
Principal Troy Albert was another person in the building when the tornado hit.
He showed us the small office space where they huddled, recalling the moments after the tornado: and how far the community has come.
“It’s a miracle, because when I first talked to you in March, I can honestly say I was thinking, two years. What am I going to do for two years without a building? And here we are, five months later,” Albert said.
Construction crews will be in the school still for a couple weeks, trying to get everything ready for the teachers.
The school looks new, fresh, and the school gym that was decimated by the tornado is just getting another polish to the floor.
A sentimental item lines the walls: some of the first items salvaged from the school were the senior class photos dating back to the early 1900’s, a heritage to the town.
Albert explains,” It’s their heritage. We’re a cornerstone, the school is a cornerstone to the community.”
Now the work begins this week for teachers, who are just now moving in and finding old items that were salvaged after the tornado and kept in storage.
An official dedication is set for Sunday afternoon at the school, and school is set to begin August 7, next Tuesday, just over five months since the tornado hit March 2.
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