Demolition begins on West Wilson Middle School after March 2020 tornado

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WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s a lesson students at West Wilson Middle School will probably never forget, the absolute power of mother nature.

Sixteen months after an EF-3 tornado slammed into the empty school in the middle of the night, demolition begins.

It’s Déjà vu for social studies teacher Ken Gluck, he’s seen parts of the school’s walls come down before.

“I was able to pull loose from under all the rubble and looked up and the first thing I saw was the school being destroyed,” said Gluck, “So my whole life was turned upside down in about a minute and a half.”

That night, Gluck lost both his home across the street and his school.

“As far as I could see, everything was destroyed,” recalled Gluck.

But not the strength of his West Wilson Middle School family. Gluck says he asked one person to show up with a chainsaw to clear his driveway. More than a hundred people later, the job and then some was done.

“Watching this come down, not to say we ever wanted to see it go, but at this point, it’s got to go so we can start fresh,” said Gluck.

Principal Elizabeth Mills knows all about the wave of feelings being experienced here today.

“We’ve had teachers who’ve been in this building for over twenty years and so there’s a lot of emotions involved,” said Mills, “Especially when they come here and see it all kind of being torn down and things being pulled out of the building.”

But there’s something else important to Mills, as she prepares for another school year with students in two different places.

“Thinking about what’s going to be is the important thing,” said Mills.

It will be a little while before we see a new West Wilson Middle School take shape. The school system still has to go through the bidding process with construction companies.

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