Students, staff, and government dignitaries broke ground on a new state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly school in Greensburg on Wednesday.
For everybody, it's been a long 18 months since Greensburg's two schools were leveled in the May 4th, 2007, EF 5 tornado.
Since then, students have turned portable buildings into temporary classrooms.
"We'll be excited to see the new building done and opened," said USD 422 Superintendent Darin Headrick. "That will be an awesome day."
Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius addressed students in the school's temporary gymnasium before heading outside to break ground where the current football field sits.
Sebelius told students their school will be one-of-a-kind, and they should be both proud and prepared to work very hard.
"You have to study much harder because you're going to be in a first class school," she told students to the sound of applause.
Greensburg's new school will house lower school and high school students. The campus will be environmentally friendly. The buildings will utilize more natural sunlight, natural ventilation, geo-thermal energy for warmth during winter, and will be constructed of materials made within 500 miles of the city.
"It's going to be awesome," said 8th grader Corey Heim. "We're going to have a sweet school."
It will cost 40 to 45 million dollars to construct the school. The bidding process for contracters will begin Thursday morning. Headrick hopes to open doors in time for the 2010 school year.