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Groundbreaking ceremony for new school after earthquake

Louisa County, Va. (WTVR) – It’s been 14 months since a historic 5.8 magnitude earthquake destroyed a Louisa County elementary school leaving the 1930s era building in ruins.

But on Thursday, Thomas Jefferson Elementary school began its rise from the rubble.

Louisa County school administrators, local lawmakers, students and teachers came out for the groundbreaking of a new school.

Thanks to funding from FEMA, local fundraising efforts and Virginia lawmakers pushing for financing, construction is underway.

School administrators say the new layout will be more practical than the old one.

All the classrooms will face a courtyard. Art, music and media rooms will be clustered together. And, the kitchen, gym and lobby area will be situated in a separate wing.

What’s more, 580 students attend the school, but the new building has the capacity for 700 students.

While some were sad to see the historic school building demolished, they say something good has come out of it.

“It was very difficult to watch the building come down. And, to start all over it`s an emotional thing, it`s a needed thing, and it`s a healing thing, but at the same time is a little tough,” said teacher and parent Patti Seay.

“This particular day, knowing that this is the making just around the corner is a very lifting experience, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Assistant Superintendent of instruction, Dr. Luanne Unruh.

It’s expected to be open in 2014. 

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