MOUNT JULIET, TN (WSMV) - It’s an exciting day for Wilson County Schools as it began the demolition of Stoner Creek Elementary.
The school and West Wilson Middle School were severely damaged in the deadly tornados in March 2020.
It’s been almost 15 months that Stoner Creek Elementary has been in ruins since the tornado.
Two Wilson County schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year after sustaining severe damage after being struck by a tornado.
It will take about three weeks to complete the demolition, then everything will be cleared off before starting construction on the new building.
The whole process could take up to 14-15 months, right around the time for the start of the 2022 school year.
“There is relief, but there’s also a certain joy about it,” said Wilson County Director of Schools Dr. Donna Wright. “The idea that what follows it once it is demolished is the building starts. The bids are going out on the new building and once the bids come back in and it’s awarded, then the construction starts.”
At Stoner Creek Elementary and West Wilson Middle, you can still see the damage left behind from the deadly tornado a year ago.
Wright said the damaged buildings displaced 1,700 kids and 150 staff members.
It wasn’t until mid-April that Wilson County Schools accepted an insurance settlement of more than $53.7 million for the damaged school buildings.
“From the night the tornado happened, the transition and changes that we’ve had to make throughout this year, it has definitely been an adventure,” said Stoner Creek Elementary Principal Amanda Smith.
“I’m excited because I want our new building back but it’s sort of bittersweet for me because I spent so many hours, particularly in the kindergarten wing,” said Phyllis Robinson, who was principal at the school for 18 years.
There have been significant developments this week for the rebuild of tornado-damaged schools in Wilson County.
The Wilson County School Board voted to approve a portable-unit village for Stoner Creek Elementary called Bobcat Village. The portables will have aluminum decking and rails installed instead of wooded decks and rails.
If those portables aren’t ready by the start of school in August, the backup plan is for students to use the north wing of West Wilson Middle School until the village is ready.