WEST, Texas (KXAN) — Even as word was spreading that the West fertilizer plant explosion was determined to be a criminal act, there was something to cheer about in the town’s schools. The blast destroyed West’s high school, middle school and intermediate school. Nine hundred students were displaced, with more than 700 of them studying in portables ever since. Now the district’s new school is nearly complete.
Kearstyn Woodard, a junior in the portables, is thrilled, “I’m really excited we’ll be the first senior class there. We’ll graduate from there and have our prom there.” Of course it’s too late for the seniors. Griffin Paxton smiles, “We’re excited for everyone else who will get to go there. I toured it recently and it’s really nice.”
As for word of the blast being a criminal act, Superintendent David Truitt says, “I know it’s going to reopen old wounds for our families and students, but I want people to know our families are strong. Our community is strong.”
The new school, opening in August, will have two wings, one for middle schoolers and the other for high school. Nine hundred students will move in and the school has the capacity for 100 more as time goes by.