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Brand new Louisa High School opens, 4 years after earthquake

Published: Aug. 12, 2015 at 8:17 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2015 at 8:17 PM EDT
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LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - Louisa High School students started a brand new school year on Wednesday, in a brand new, high-tech building.

Four years ago, an earthquake ravaged the school. Now, Louisa High is starting a new chapter in a $54 million state-of-the-art facility.

No one could forget the trembling earthquake that crumbled much of Louisa in 2011. Louisa High School senior Jordan Coleman was in eighth grade.

"All of a sudden, the building just starts shaking and everyone is screaming, and we all run out," recalled Coleman.

The majority of Coleman's high school experience would be in portable trailers, while the school's superintendent Dr. Deborah Pettit, banded with the community to rebuild.

"I knew we could do it, because we were determined to do it," said Dr. Pettit.

"We all worked harder just to show everyone that just because we're in these pods, nothing can hold us back," added Coleman.

Students are walking through brand new halls, three floors of tailored classrooms, a shiny gym, and an expansive auditorium.

"I love it. It's so much more than I had even expected to see," exclaimed Coleman.

Money from the Alan Jackson benefit concert helped to fund a sound system that projects not only in the main auditorium, but also in the cafeteria. The school even has room to fit another 300 students in the future, who will hopefully appreciate it as much as the teenagers who waited for the building's debut.

"We've learned to be very grateful for what we have, and for the help we've gotten," continued Dr. Pettit.

After the earthquake, all of Louisa's schools had to be repaired. A new elementary school was completely rebuilt and opened last year. However, the high school marks the completion of the project.

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