MILWAUKEE -- Students in Racine relocated after a devastating fire returned to their home school this morning. District administrators wanted students back at Mitchell Elementary by September 2. They accomplished their goal as students went back Tuesday. But there's still work to be done after February's fire.
"Kind of like a new beginning," 5th grade teacher Scott Miatech said.
There's no doubt about that.
"We know that this building means a lot to our students and staff and this is their home," Racine Unfied School District spokesperson Jane Flis said. "This is their school where they make memories and learn and grow."
The fire forced students to Wind Lake School to finish last year. With a lot of hard work, the school is back and ready for a new year.
"Construction going on, cleaning, restoration work, moving things around, and getting materials back here for students and staff to return today," Flis said.
"Surprise, grief, we had no idea what was lost," Miatech said.
Teachers felt the brunt of the fire. Miatech said finding the right materials to finish the year was a challenge.
"Everyone is very excited to be back," Miatech said.
But there's still work to be done. The fire started in the gym - that's not done yet...But should be in a few months.
"There's reconstruction going on," Flis said. "Redoing the gym, a multi-purpose room, and the kitchen areas that were very heavily impacted by the fire."
As far as gym activities, the school plans to put some alternatives in place until construction is complete.