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Highland students return to school for the first time since April fire

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - It is a significant day for Highland High School as students return for the first time since a fire destroyed part of the school in April.

Most students and teachers we talked to worried they might not have a school to come back to.

"When I found out it was horrible," Highland student body vice president Gunnar Anderson said. "I thought the whole school burned was kind of surreal."

"When I heard about it, I was in shock and and devastated," Highland Principal Dr. Brad Wallace said. "We we had awesome district leadership that that led us right to work and so many people have worked so hard. And so it builds this excitement of of getting us back home."

While the outside of the school still bears the scars left behind by the fire, the Pocatello Fire Department and 3-D Fire Protection have worked to make sure the inside is safe and up to code.

Most of classes and activities will still be on campus, but some will have to be at nearby buildings for now.

"I'm super excited that we're still able to do them," student body president Zoe McEwan said. "That's really amazing that we have the area and the people who have like offered their spaces for us...I think that it will be an adventure to figure everything out, but I think that in the end it'll be really good for us."

Highland's Principal Dr. Wilson tells us the fire was a tragedy but the new school year brings new opportunities. Although this year will be different, he hopes the student's and teachers take this opportunity to create a new normal.

"It was almost like starting from scratch that everything had been taken down and tossed out," Dr. Wilson said. "But then when like today, when students arrive, that's why we do what we do. And it brings another added excitement that brings joy to us."

District 25 will be asking voters to approve an estimated 42-million dollar bond to renovate Highland High School and add an improved gym facility at Century High School. That bond election will be held in November.

Article Topic Follows: Pocatello

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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8.


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