Center Point Elementary reopens

For children at Center Point Elementary, this Monday marked a new beginning. The school was heavily-damaged in an EF-3{} tornado in January 2012.

The students were moved to Erwin Intermediate School. {}{}

Now, after more than two years and a lot of reconstruction the students have come home.

Some of these students will leave Center Point Elementary this fall for intermediate school.

This move back is for them.

"Our boys and girls that are in the second grade, the tornado hit when they were in kindergarten," explains principal Laura Kirkpatrick. "So they had only been here half a year. We just really wanted them to have an opportunity to come back to this building and experience it before they move up to third grade, which is Erwin Intermediate."As maintenance workers move desks and supplies back into the school, assistant principal Christi Butler believes it was a 'no brainer' to finish out the school year in these halls. "The building was ready, so why wait? I know we only have five or six weeks left of school, but we wanted our kids to have an opportunity to enjoy that time here," says Butler.The school dates to 2002, but Kirkpatrick says the building has a brand new feel. "There have just been a lot of different things (returning to school), making sure that everything was safe and ready for kids to be here."Kirkpatrick is thankful her students are back home after spending the last two years at Erwin Intermediate School."It had its good and bad," says Kirkpatrick. "We made lots of new friends with members of the faculty and have had collaboration. But, we're also happy to be in a (newly reconstructed) building and have a bit more space."Now, it's a matter of getting students adjusted to their new digs. "Today is all about teaching routine and procedures, making sure they know where they're going," says Kirkpatrick. It's really about familiarizing them with the school and teaching them those new procedures."'