The Vina High School science and band hall is under the first phase of reconstruction: demolition.

Vina starts demo

July 23 marked the first phase of rebuilding Vina School’s new science building and band hall.

Superintendent Greg Hamilton, Principal Brent Gillespie and State Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow were present for this first phase, which is the demolition of the current building.

This science building and band hall is the building that was damaged by a tornado in 2016.

The demolition and future construction have been made possible in large part by funding that was allocated by the Education Budget House Bill 175 in March. The line item stated that VHS would receive $750,000 for the reconstruction of this academic building.

To secure this funding, Hamilton took many trips to Montgomery and made many phone calls and portfolios. Sen. Larry Stutts, Morrow and Rep. Bill Poole were all integral in getting this passed through the House, Senate and Conference Committee, Hamilton said.

“It has been a long process, but I would do it again without hesitation for any school in this county,” Hamilton said.

National Weather Service Authorities determined it was an EF-0 tornado that wreaked havoc at Vina High School in late December 2016.

At the baseball field, the roof was blown off one of the dugouts. Fencing was also knocked down on campus.

Canopies were ripped from their posts by the 80 mile-per-hour winds and smashed into windows in the school’s main building and science building. On both the science building and the gym, the roof was raised up and set back down – one whole side, for the gym, and on one corner of science building.

Rebuilding of the science and band hall was delayed for some months because of a conflict with risk management in regards to whether the building should be repaired or rebuilt.

“This was the building I taught classes in for many of the early years of my career and walked in almost daily for 20 years,” Hamilton said in a previous interview. “There was never any question in my opinion or the opinion of the engineer representing the FCBOE that the building was severely damaged beyond repair. I knew without question that the foundation was not cracked all over the bottom floor before the tornado, as it is now.”

Once demolition is complete, construction can begin on the new building.

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