Five years after a fertilizer plant explosion severely damaged most of the school facilities in West, Texas, the school district has rededicated two buildings that have been saved and restored.
KCEN-TV reports that the West Independent School District welcomed community members over the weekend to tour the 1923 and 1957 buildings, which previously housed the high school. The restored facility now houses the district administration.
The two-story building had lost windows, doors, and parts of the roof when the fertilizer plant exploded on April 17, 2013.
At the rededication ceremony, the school district said goodbye to the last portable building that was used at the site while the district carried out repairs.
"This is really the capstone, it's the administration building." West School Board President Larry Sparks says. "It's a big burden off our shoulders and now we are really looking towards the future".
In the new design, many of the walls have been left exposed instead of being repainted as a symbol of the building's strength.
The damage from the explosion heavily damaged the district's intermediate, middle and high schools. West opened a $52 million middle/high school campus in 2016 to replace much of what was lost in the explosion.
The district hopes to win approval next month of a $20 million bond issue that would provide funds to build an elementary school. The existing elementary has become crowded since fourth- and fifth-graders displaced from the destroyed intermediate school were moved there.