Back in Longfellow - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Back in Longfellow

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In June 2011, Longfellow Elementary School was severely damaged by the Souris River Flood, forcing teachers to come back to school mid-summer to pick up destroyed belongings and see their classrooms ruined.

 After transitioning to what teachers called "tent city," and then the FEMA School, Longfellow staff can finally return to a brand new building and return to normal. They started the day with an old tradition.

 "With our custodian, we all gathered around the flag pole and he raised the flag. That's something he hasn't done since the last day of school before the flood. It was a very emotional and neat way to start the year for us as staff," says Tracey Lawson, principal.

 Parents and students visited the new school today to see the finished product.

 "The parents come in, they say, oh it's a beautiful place, and the kids come in and they're so excited. Some of the kids have never really been into a real school setting, so to them this is just amazing," says Steph Abrahamson, teacher.

 "School is a big part of growing up, so it was sad when it flooded and it's exciting to see it all brand new, looking amazing," says Julie Ladner, parent.

 "The parents have been amazing. They are just so excited for the whole staff, and for their kids to have a place that's there own finally," says Abrahamson.

 Many students that started their elementary education in the FEMA School are thrilled to be here.

 "Kids faces, so amazing, just to see their playground and a school and an actual gymnasium and a cafeteria, for them that's all new," says Abrahamson.

 For families that were in the old Longfellow School before the flood, they're just enjoying the changes.

 "It's been just so much fun today and it is fun to see the looks on kid's and parent's faces when they come in and just look at the color and they say oh, I remember what this was before, or just their own memories from what the old school looked like and to see how it transformed into this beautiful new building," says Lawson.

 Lawson is just ready to get back to normal.

 "We are home. We're back home and we're ready to get back to the job of educating children," says Lawson.

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