BUCKHORN, Ky. (LEX 18) — Buckhorn students who are in grades K-12 returned to the classrooms today. The school's principal, Tim Wooton, says the year is off to a good start.
Wooton says, "To see their faces, their smiles, being able to get a hug, or fist bump, or handshake, and some of them just say how glad they were to be back in school -- it just, it touches you and that's, that's what it's about."
These students, faculty, and staff are starting this school year 45 minutes away from the building they're used to. The school in Buckhorn saw more than 5 feet of water during eastern Kentucky’s floods.
"It's amazing to go in there and see. It just really broke your heart, just pulling in that driveway to the school, how it was tore up and then going inside the building,” says Wooton.
School leaders tell me that this school that was formerly A.B. Combs Elementary School, was the perfect place for their more than 300 students to start and finish this school year.
Principal Wooton shares, "Fortunately the district still owned this facility, we came and looked at it and walked through and we said, we can make it work."
This principal says students faculty and staff are excited to get back into the classroom despite what they've experienced this summer. Community organizations are still coming together to help support this community.
ICNA Relief’s Director of Disaster Relief Rafiq Mahdi, says, "We brought about 600-650 backpacks here today."
These leaders say it's important to continue to help neighbors in their time of need.
"When we establish these connections and we work together, then you know it's just makes for a better community for all of us,” says Mahdi.
Buckhorn's principal tells us that a lot of work went into making this building ready for the school year including new paint jobs and even some temporary classrooms. He says he's proud of how much work this faculty and staff have put in for students.
"It's going to be an adjustment but give it a few weeks. I think we'll be running smoothly, and I think it's gonna be one of the better years we've had at buckhorn school,” says Wooton.