Repaired Ben Martin ready to open

Benjamin Martin ELementary School
August 22, 2011 6:26:17 PM PDT
Students are preparing to return to Ben Martin Elementary school more than four months after April tornadoes heavily damaged the campus.

At first, it was not clear how long repairs would take.

Students finished the last five weeks of their school year at temporary schools across town.

Initially, school officials said it would cost $5M and take six to eight months to complete repairs.

In June, school officials gave ABC11 Eyewitness News a tour of the school and said repairs were going so well they hoped to reopen by August 25. Not only did crews rebuild it faster, they made it better.

The D wing was the damaged the worst. Students will see new classroom equipment, including a flat screen TV and new furniture.

"To see all the work they have done in such a short time, it's amazing," Assistant Principal Antigone Peek said.

Despite the hustle and bustle of the impending school year, she expects Thursday to be a fairly calm first day for students.

"The conversations I have heard from parents, they are prepping the kids and they are excited about coming back," Peek added.

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