Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Ringgold Middle School is whole again. Last week, on the day they returned from the Christmas holiday, students and faculty moved into the replacement for the school’s eighth-grade wing, which was destroyed by a tornado April 27, 2011.
“I’m excited to have the eighth-graders back,” principal Mike Sholl said. “This offers kind of a sense of closure from the disaster. We are all — students and faculty — happy.”
The 42,187-square-foot building contains 14 classrooms and three science labs for use by eighth-graders as well as band, chorus, art and computer classrooms for use by the entire student body.
“Adversity has revealed who we are,” Catoosa County Schools Superintendent Denia Reese said during an assembly marking the first day of classes in the school’s newest addition. “We are survivors. I am very proud of your Tiger spirit and proud to welcome you home.”
Immediately following the tornado RMS students continued classes at Heritage Middle School. During the 2012 school year only the eighth-graders were unable to return to their home campus, and instead occupied temporary quarters at nearby Ringgold High School. Last week RMS again became a solitary campus.
“I love it, and not just the fact that it’s a beautiful building,” assistant principal Jeff Fricks said. “I like being back at the middle school. This is home.”