Henryville students, teachers striving for normal in rebuilt sch - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Henryville students, teachers striving for "normal" in rebuilt school

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HENRYVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Superstorm Sandy has brought back unpleasant memories for Henryville, Indiana. The community is still recovering from it's own superstorm, the March 2 tornado.

Thursday, WDRB went inside the rebuilt Henryville school for the first time since students returned to class.

Henryville students and teachers have been back in their building for about three months, and they seem to have accomplished their major goal. A return to normal.

Kyle Lewis has taught history at Henryville Middle School for nine years. He was there when the historic March 2nd storm ripped the building apart. He recalls being evacuated to a nearby shelter.  "I just remember many of the kids being in a panic and parents trying to find their kids and where they are. That was probably the most chaotic part of it," said Lewis.

Thursday there was just the normal chaos in the hallways as students moved to class. Just being back in this building, back in the routine, is helping heal the wounds of March 2nd.  "Getting into the new building and everything being the same, it's helped being able to focus," said middle school student Braxton Robertson.

But the storm is never far from anyone's mind. Routine thunderstorms are no longer routine.  "I take storms a little more seriously now. I always try and take shelter if it gets serious," said middle school student Hannah Nunn.

"There was a pretty loud burst of thunder that kind of shook the room, and it caused some panic amongst the kids," said Lewis.

But knowledge is power. That's one reason why the school on Thursday brought in WDRB meteorologist Marc Weinberg -- not to relive the storm, but to help students understand it.  "The likelihood of you seeing another one of these in your lifetime is very low," Weinberg told the students. 

"One of the things that I wanted to bring back to the students is an opportunity for them to ask questions," said principal Troy Albert.

It's all part of the healing process, which also now includes the school collecting donations to give to others damaged by Superstorm Sandy.  "Because we know what it's like. We've been through a similar situation," said Robertson.

"It's always going to be a part of our lives, and how we deal with it, we move forward," said Albert.

The next major milestone in this school's return to normal is November 27th -- the first high school varsity basketball game in the rebuilt gym.

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