Henryville elementary students return to school Wednesday

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - Wednesday, March 21 will be the first day of school for Henryville Elementary students since a tornado heavily damaged their school on Friday, March 2.

Elementary students head to school at the Graceland Baptist Church in New Albany, Indiana.

"It's just a miracle.  This has been transformed in the past two weeks to a school and it's Henryville Elementary here at Graceland Baptist Church," Principal Dr. Glenn Riggs told WAVE 3 News.

Scissors, crayons, desks and even chalkboards make these temporary classrooms look like the real deal.

"It's pretty small, but yeah its awesome," said 5th grade student Ayla Ryan.

It's a sharp contrast to what their school looks like now; just two weeks after the tornado ripped apart the school.

"It's terrible. I mean it's just sad to see all my stuff's gone and everybody else's classrooms are gone," Ayla Ryan said.

Students spent Tuesday getting a look around at their temporary elementary school.

"There was a lot of stairs and a lot of confusing turns," 5th grader Eden Ryan laughed.

It's been a challenge to get to this point, but things came together thanks to an outpouring of support from complete strangers.

"It took a lot of giving and a lot of cooperation.  We had a lot of folks that just gave so much," Dr. Riggs said.

Elementary students will benefit from it starting Wednesday as they head back to class, displaying their "Hornet Hope" tee shirts.

"They're beyond thrilled. They are excited. It's like the day before Christmas. They are ready to be here and they want to come to school," Dr. Riggs said.

When asked if she missed school. Ayla Ryan said, "A whole bunch yeah! All my friends. I'm just sad because I don't get to be with them."

"I want to see my friends.  But if I didn't have to do work that'd be awesome," Eden Ryan laughed.

"She likes it.  As long as she's happy I'm happy," a student said.

"I'm excited.  I think it's great to see the kids and have a place to come and it's a wonderful facility and we're excited to be together," said Henryville Kindergarten Teacher Karla Heinz.

As far as transportation, kids will be picked up at the same time and location, but rather than going straight to school, they'll be brought to the community center for transfer.

Middle and high school students are expected back in class April 2 at the Mid-American Science Park in Scottsburg.

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