After tornado, North Jefferson Middle School prepares for new school year

Jefferson County school children are back in class later this week. That also includes North Jefferson Middle School in Kimberly, which was damaged by a tornado April 28. The students still don't have a gymnasium, and one of the media rooms in the school's library is still undergoing repairs. But, the good news -- more than 95 percent of classroom space is ready to go for the start of the school year, Wednesday. "We have a new roof in the gym. We have a new mezzanine above the gym, replacing the flooring in the main lobby and the tile," says{}principal Terry Henderson.{} Henderson took over as principal of North Jefferson Middle School in July, just a few months after an E-F one tornado damaged the school.{} "The district had been in touch with insurance agents and different construction companies to get everything fast tracked to get (the school) ready."{} Still, Henderson knew a long road was ahead.{}"A lot of construction.{}A lot of things getting in the way of school starting. But, a lot of really good people working hard to get it happen, and get it done as quickly as possible," says{}Henderson.The majority of damage was the result of flooding after a fifteen foot hole was ripped in the roof of the gym.{}Monday, workers continue to repair the gym roof, as teachers spent the day inside preparing for Wednesday. Now, Henderson looks forward to a new school year, and a new beginning.{} "I am very excited about this school year. We've had a lot of things that could have been a distraction. What I've found out in my time at North Jefferson, is that the community, the teachers, the students, are turning those into opportunities."