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MILLBURY, Ohio (AP) — A northwest Ohio community that lost its high school in a deadly tornado is getting a peek at the replacement school whose gleaming hallways will welcome students back to class later this month.
The district arranged tours Sunday afternoon at the nearly $26 million Lake High School near Millbury in the Toledo suburbs.
It has a plaque near its flagpole honoring seven people who died as a result of a twister that ripped through the area on June 5, 2010, The Blade in Toledo reported (http://bit.ly/Ma6Uhu). Half of the old school was destroyed.
In its place now stands a 144,000-square-foot facility with 28 classrooms, four science labs, a new gym and state-of-the-art acoustics in the auditorium. The designers also made sure to include storm-safe areas that aren’t exposed to the outside and sit under a reinforced roof deck.
Principal Lee Herman has been working long hours to get it ready for classes and calls the work “a labor of love.”
“They don’t teach you these things in grad school,” Herman told the newspaper. “But it’s been nice creating a new building out of the devastation,”
The building, located next to the middle school, was funded with insurance money, private donations and a grant from the Ohio School Facilities Commission.
“Our goal was to have it done by August of 2012, and do it without taxpayer dollars. We’ve accomplished that,” said Tim Krugh, president of the board of education.
When classes begin Aug. 21, the school will fill with 450 students.
They had attended classes in a community college building while the new school was under construction but some have said they’re looking forward to having a real school again.
The district’s administrative offices also are part of the building.
“We feel we have really made different use of our space,” Superintendent Jim Witt said. “We didn’t want a Mercedes. Nothing is over the top. It’s just nice.”