HACKLEBURG, Ala. (WIAT)- It’s been nearly three years since an EF-5 tornado plowed through northwestern Alabama. In its wake were countless buildings and homes, including Hackleburg High School. “It just seemed like so unrealistic,” said John Hardin, principal of the high school. “I guess people around here were more in shock than anything.”
That shock quickly turned into planning. A storm shelter was built that can withstand 250mph winds. School administrators decided to finish the 2010-2011 school year, and brought in mobile classrooms for the following year. “We put hallways in them and made it as school-like as we could,” said Hardin, adding, “[but] not knocking our mobile units, it’s not school.”
School isn’t far away; in fact, it’s just across a field. The new high school is being built just behind the location of the old one. Hardin says people regularly drive by to check the progress of the building, even congregating in the parking lot on Sundays. “It’s [the school] a big, huge part of our community,” he said. “Without a school, I don’t know if we would have a community here.”
The new school is expected to be ready between October and Christmas break. However, the athletic fields should be ready by August, meaning HHS teams will finally get to play home games after three years on the road.
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