While some kids would have liked to see their summer last a little longer, that wasn't the case in Lockney. Two and a half years after their high school burned to the ground, students started the school year in their new building.
"To see the kids coming through the door whenever the first bell rang - see their faces and to have everyone under one roof, it's a good day," Principal Todd Hallmark said.
More than a hundred students walked through the doors of the new Lockney High School Monday. Senior Sunni Williams says it's a day she has been waiting for since she was a Freshman.
"An awesome feeling to be able to be in a building this year and not have to walk around outside out in the portables. It's very exciting," Williams said.
Williams and her classmates have had to make due since the fire, by going to class inside portable buildings and area churches. The fire destroyed everything: classrooms, books, desks and computers.
"It was unreal that someone would burn down the school like that, but we all just came together, got through it, and we're finally in a new building," Williams said.
Senior Steven Fernandez says lockers are one of the new items he is most excited about.
"We had to carry all of our books at the portables, we had no spot to actually put our books, we had to carry them everywhere," Fernandez said.
Principal Hallmark says lockers have become a luxury for his students.
"That seems to be the one thing where they were like 'wow - we have lockers.' To be able to put their books and have a place to put some of their things or whatever it may be," Hallmark said.
Hallmark graduated from Lockney High School back in 1988. He says the memories torched in the fire won't be forgotten. However, he admits, the new building brings nothing but relief.
"It is a weight lifted off your shoulders. We did make it through that tough time, we all grew from it, and I think we're better people because of it. We're just glad to be here," Hallmark said.
Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.