Wacoochee Students Eager to Head Back to School

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email

SALEM, ALA. (WTVM) - It's been almost two months since a tornado heavily damaged wacoochee Junior High School in Salem, Alabama.

In the weeks since, the students have crammed into Smiths Station High School for their classes.

This story is a testament of what so many people are going through in this area right now.

The cleanup following a tornado continues long after the television cameras and news reporters leave.

The recovery process continues at Wacoochee Junior High School.

But there is good news to report tonight.

WTVM has learned the school has tentatively scheduled to re-open it's doors on May 4th.

"We had six classrooms that were completely not usable, lunch room was not usable, a lot of our hallways, so it's great news that it got done so quick," said Wacoochee Vice Principal Shannon Tomlin.

Smiths Station is already the 10th largest high school in the state of Alabama.

"Feeding 900 students in an hour, which is what we had to do every single day has been a challenge, but the lunch room staff has been phenomenal," Tomlin said.

It hasn't been all bad.

School officials point out eighth graders have had exposure to the high school life, which could help them next year.

"It's been nice for them to get a feel for this campus to see what things are like on a day to day basis here, so they aren't just bombarded with that in August, when they actually step on this campus," Tomlin said.

The cafeteria at Wacoochee will take longer to repair.

From May 4th until the end of the year(May 22nd), lunch will be prepared at Smiths Station High School and shipped to Wacoochee.