Livonia, N.Y. – For faculty and staff at Livonia’s primary school, the Wednesday after winter vacation felt more like September than January.
Fourth and fifth graders at Livonia elementary school are starting the new year anew.
Students returned to their new wing of the building.
It was destroyed after a generator caught fire on the roof in July.
“That was the first place I saw it, on the 12 o'clock news. You know it hits you pretty hard when you see it on the news,” Livonia elementary school principal Matthew Cole said.
After a temporary building and four months later, students and staff have a place to call home with new improvements.
Classrooms have up-to-date smart boards and computers and storage space.
“I love the walls and the smart boards are nicer. They're not as old. They're awesome,” fifth grader Nina Monteleone said.
“I feel more comfortable in our new situation. I feel really good because now we're all together in our new wing and not all spread out,” fifth grader Cara Monteleone said.
"This is the only thing I have left from the fire,” said teacher Jamie Hochheimer as she points to a tin container that once belonged to her grandfather.
Hochheimer was able to salvage the container.
She now keeps it on her desk as a reminder of what faculty have been working towards.
“We've been building the classroom back up to what it used to be and trying to get re-acclimated, re-making materials that we lost,” Hochheimer said.
School staff says they feel a sense of completion as they start the new year, ready to get back on track.
“I'm happy to be back here because now I feel like I can really dig my heels in, get settled,” Hochheimer said.
“It’s a big relief to have an extra thing taken care of,” Cole said.
The school district plans to hold a public unveiling of the school's new wing at the end of the month.