Tuckahoe Elementary students return after fire - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Tuckahoe Elementary students return after fire

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

Thursday was the first day of school again for the third time this school year for students at Tuckahoe Elementary School, after a fire forced students out of their building.

For nearly a month, they've been isolated from their own school. Both parents and students say they welcomed returning to their campus.

For the past few weeks, their lesson has consisted of reading, writing, and re-location. Students at Tuckahoe Elementary were forced to have class at Short Pump Middle.

"We can go back to Tuckahoe now," said first-grader Miller Tatum, who knew just where he was heading.

A sign outside of school welcomed the youngsters back home.

"Oh, it is home and he's really glad to be back," said Noelle Watson, parent of another student.

Even though transitioning for her son was difficult.

"We're just five minutes from walking and I walk him in the morning and we walk home together. That's just part of what we've done since kindergarten so it's really been a hard transition to ride 30 minutes on a bus," Watson said.

Fire officials discovered a fire started on a couch causing major smoke damage throughout the building. After weeks of cleaning and painting, everything's back to normal, except a section of the basement.

"What we've done inside is sealed off the staircase that leads down to the basement so the students won't end up accidentally walking into it," said Andy Jenks with Henrico Schools.

As students walked off their school bus, that moment was full of the excitement of starting afresh.

"Our school has been painted and people have cleaned it," Tatum said.

"They've gone out of the way to keep the kids safe, to keep them engaged, keep them from feeling upset or concerned. The whole community has come together for this. It's been really remarkable," Watson added.

All of the renovations following the fire come with a hefty price tag, totaling nearly $1 million.

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