August 21, 2013
Nearly two years to the day it was destroyed in a 5.8-magnitude earthquake, work has begun on a new Louisa County High School.
School leaders are calling it the biggest step yet on their long road to recovery and say it's a road they have all walked together.
"In some ways, it seems as if we've been in a continuous series of adjustments and changes, especially when we think back to that trauma experienced that day," superintendent Dr. Deborah Pettit told the crowd of students, parents, politicians and the community.
The August 23, 2011 quake created so much damage to the school it had to be demolished. Since then, students have been shuffled to other buildings and a pod school constructed in the parking lot.
Pettit says, despite the physical changes, their education hasn't crumbled.
"Schooling for the past two years has proceeded as normal as the high school faculty and students have not missed a beat," said Pettit.
Several politicians also made their way to the groundbreaking to show their support.
"We are Louisa and great things are what we do," said Sen. Tom Garrett (R-22nd District).
He would know. Sen. Garrett graduated from Louisa County High School in 1990.
Del. Peter Farrell (R-56th District), acknowledged the school's quick action after the quake.
"What you all did was astounding. What was it, only 19 days they were out of school after losing about 40 percent of your school capacity in about 10 seconds?" said Del. Farrell.
Rebuilding hasn't been that quick of a process, but it's one that has united the community.
"You came together as a body of people who believed in fixing things and getting things done," said Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-17th District).
The school is expected to be ready for the 2015-2016 school year.