Phenix City school still needs help months after devastating fire

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Six months after a fire destroyed a private school in Phenix City, plans are moving forward to rebuild.

Teacher Pauline Spinoza remembers the day her school went up in flames, "It is so sad it almost makes me cry."  But, the school family that was formed, and the generosity after the fire, also makes her tear up. "It made you feel like a family, like it is not a mom or an organization. Everyone is coming together like a family," explained Spinoza.

The 40 year old building was a total loss.  After the fire, donations of books, TVs, and time poured in to the school.

Father Tom Weise explained, "The beams burned from one end to the other, there was fire coming out of both ends of the school.  The content was declared a total loss."

Father Weise says the transition to the temporary building was not as hard as expected, "I think they are enjoying the experience because it is different going to a three story school. And making due with what you have got."

While classes continue in the temporary classrooms, plans have already been drawn for a new school, gym, and worship center.

A crucifix is the only thing resurrected from the fire, "we cleaned it for two days before we brought it in and yet the whole room smelled like fire," said Weise.

The crucifix now sits in the dining hall.  It is a reminder of the schools mission, and their future plans.

School officials said that, unexpectedly, enrollment actually increased after the fire.

Father Weise said the old building will be destroyed and a new building will be constructed.  He said work should start soon.

If you would like to donate to the school, you can call the school at (334) 298-3408.

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