Volunteers help haul desks and other equipment back to Shields Elementary School KDFW-TV

Volunteers help haul desks and other equipment back to Shields Elementary School.

Tornado-damaged elementary south of Dallas reopens

Shields Elementary in the Red Oak district was forced to relocate after an exterior wall collapsed in December.

Students returned today to Shields Elementary School in Glenn Heights, Texas, about eight months after damage from a tornado forced them to relocate classes to a vacant junior high.

KDFW-TV reports that the Red Oak district completed $13 million in repairs and upgrades to get the campus ready for the 2016-17 school year. The facility improvements include safety upgrades and technology enhancements such as classroom WiFi and interactive whiteboards.

A tornado struck the campus on Dec. 26 and resulted in the collapse of an exterior wall.

An engineer hired by the district found that the builder, Ratcliff Construction, did not properly secure the walls. The original construction of the school was completed in 2009.

Following the wall collapse, the district reached a $30,000 settlement with the building inspector who signed off on the construction. Ratcliff also paid more than $160,000 for exterior wall corrections done by a new contractor, the district says.

Several hundred volunteers helped earlier this month to move furniture and equipment back to the renovated campus and prepare the facility for the return of students.

Video from KDFW-TV:

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