Longfellow School Celebration - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Longfellow School Celebration

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Two years ago, students were settling in to the temporary school house that had taken the place of Longfellow Elementary.

At the same time, construction was beginning to build a new Longfellow that would replace the flood-wrecked original building.

The new Longfellow opened for class this fall - and tonight, there's a celebration going on.

Kelli Volk is live at the new Longfellow to tell us about tonight's open house.

It's another day of class at Longfellow elementary school, but it's also a celebration of moving from devastation to transformation.

Like many homes and facilities in the Valley, Longfellow school had to close its doors for rebuilding efforts after it was impacted by the 2011 flood.

Now, class is in session at a bigger and better facility.

(Tracey Lawson, Longfellow Principal)"Most notably, the building has about doubled in size. We now have 70,000 square feet of school.We have a single-story addition for kindergarten and early childhood special education and then we have a two-story academic wing for 1st and second and 3rd and fourth graders. Our fifth graders are on the second floor of our existing building."

Those changes coupled with a brand new gym complete the improved school building.

One teacher says the overall project gets an A+.

(Cindy Larcombe, Longfellow 4th Grade Teacher)"Lots of updates from our old building. Things like electrical plug-ins, enough for all of the electronic things that we have now in today's teaching. We have water in our classroom, which makes for much easier art projects and science experiments, lots more storage."

The new learning environment has also captured the attention of the students.

One student can recall the days of Longfellow before the flood, he says the updates make for an improved learning experience.

(Jonas Bubach, Longfellow 4th Grader)"Smaller gym, of course, smaller lunchroom. We didn't have sinks in our classroom like we do now. We now have lockers. We didn't have those before the flood. And, it's a bigger school."

It's a bigger school of new and old--offering a little lesson in history while looking toward the future.

(Tracey Lawson, Longfellow Principal)"It was very fun to to see their reactions because, of course, they're trying to figure out, "I remember what this was," or are having a hard time just figuring out and then it all kind of clicks together."

That was just a glimpse of Longfellow--there really is much more to see including a brand new playground set that was made possibly by the Minot Lions Club.

We'll have more on that story at KX News at 10.

Reporting live from Longfellow School, Kelli Volk, KX News.

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