Students cheer the start of new school year in familiar building months after Orrick tornado

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ORRICK, Mo. -- Students are excited about returning to school after a tornado cut short their last school year. Kids say they're just happy they can continue classes in their hometown.

"We had to get a whole new gym and of course a lot of our school is just gone," said Tyler Crow, a senior. "It was a little different for me to see my school during my senior year, compared to the way it was my whole 12 years before that."

A May tornado ripped the roof off the high school building and sent students home for an early summer break. Student council members lined the entrance to cheer, as children returned to their school building Wednesday morning.

High schoolers know they are missing part of their hallway, and four classrooms are gone. Teachers now may have to share some space, but students tell me it beats having to go to school in another town or at a nearby church.

"Because of the tornado and we are missing half of our hallway and we don't have our ag shop," said Madison O'Dell, a sophomore. "We have some problems with our classrooms that we had to move everything. So everybody just thinks we are not going to have very good luck anymore."

Orrick no longer has an agricultural shop. But students are excited about having a rehabbed gymnasium and new hardwood floor.

High schoolers also may have to share lockers, but they say that's no big deal. If anything, kids say they are working more closely together to bring the school back to what it once had, and that has made people in this community feel more like a big family.

The school board is discussing a bond issue, to expand the buildings here and connect the school to the ag shop that will undergo repairs.

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