WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Students in Wilson County will head back to school Monday after the deadly EF-3 tornado left two schools damaged in its wake and the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the district.
Wilson County students have not returned to the classroom since March and the district has been looking forward to this day.
Around 18% of enrolled students chose to begin the 2020 school year virtually.
Some high schoolers who chose to learn traditionally have a new building to look forward to.
Crews broke ground on the brand new Green Hill High School nearly two years ago. They’ve worked through roughly five months of inclement weather days to get the project done on time.
School leaders are thrilled to welcome students to their new home.
“We haven’t opened all the doors to show and share with everyone but it’s going to be beyond impressive. Because there going to have opportunities that many people are going to wait until they are adults and in a career path to even experience it and they’ll be able to start that opportunity here at Green Hill High School,” explained Wilson County Director of Schools, Dr. Donna Wright.
Green Hill High School is Wilson County’s fifth high school and the $107 million dollar project will finally come to life Monday.
The high school is set to welcome both high schoolers and 7th and 8th graders from Mt. Juliet Middle School, as part of Wilson County’s tornado recovery plan.
Prior to the tornado, the school was expecting 1,400 students. Now, they will be at capacity with 2,000-2,050.
The EF-3 struck Stoner Creek Elementary and West Wilson Middle School, causing around $85 million in damages.
The damages left 1,700 students and 150 teachers without classrooms. But soon after the tornado hit, COVID-19 shut down schools nationwide.
Kindergarten to fifth-grade students from Stoner Creek Elementary will join West Wilson Middle School sixth-graders at Mt. Juliet Middle School. Mt. Juliet Middle School sixth-graders will also stay at their school for the upcoming school year.
Seventh and eighth-grade students from Mt. Juliet Middle School will go to their feeder high school at Green Hill. Seventh and eighth graders from West Wilson Middle School will do the same, attending Mt. Juliet High School in the fall.
Traditional was the original plan, but Wilson County Schools now intends to start the school year in a Modified Hybrid Model. The modification is due to the inclusion of all K-12 students. The previous Hybrid model was K-8, so this modification would now include all high school students.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of Super Tuesday tornado rebuilding and recovery.