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Updated: Saturday, 02 Mar 2013, 12:55 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 28 Feb 2013, 7:34 PM EST
HENRYVILLE, Ind. (WISH) - The tornado that tore through Henryville left the school badly damaged. The Principal, Troy Albert, and a few students and teachers were in the office when it hit, but they survived.
“I’ll never forget that day, but I’m ready to move forward,” said Albert.
Students attended school in nearby New Albany and Scottsburg for the remainder of the Spring 2012 semester.
Teachers used donated supplies and had to make lesson plans up again.
But more than half of the school was salvageable, and within five months, the school was rebuilt, with the help of donations that flowed in from across the country.
Students came back to school in Henryville in August.
“It was a lot of change. But through that, there was a lot of support. It wasn’t the building, it was the people in it,” said senior Kaitlyn Maloney. “Just to see everyone back in here, it was just awesome to see everyone, and for it to be the same way it was.”
School officials have done a few things differently with the new school.
“We’ve added some safety features, by taking those doors out, in the doorway we’re walking to,” explained Albert. Those doors had been seen swinging in video.
They also have more safety measures in place – with “safe rooms” that fit all the students in the school. Those came about after officials realized simply crouching in the hallways wouldn’t have been good enough in some parts of the school.
“We have identified where our block rooms are, the cinder block rooms, those are called “safe rooms” now,” said Albert.
Each teacher now has a key to their specific and designated location with their students.
And there is still work to be done. Students will take the ISTEP tests in a week. Last year, they didn’t because of the storm.
They say most students have moved back into rebuilt homes, or repaired ones.
But they’re staying positive.
“It’s been an exciting year, one that I learned a lot, and I treasure in my memory banks. But I’m also here for the students, making sure they’re doing the best they can,” said Albert.
“We’re not trying to forget everything, but we’re just trying to move on. To remember all the good things, like how the community came together,” said Maloney.