Celebrating a New Beginning

Celebrating a New Beginning
By: Arnold Wyrick
Cypress, IL - When a tornado tore through the town of Cypress three years ago, it ripped the heart out of the small Southern Illinois community. In the wake of the storm lay many damaged homes, but perhaps the hardest hit was the Cypress Elementary School.
The twister ripped the roof off several classrooms, and sent what was left of the roof, crashing down into the main floor.
But things are looking up for the students and their teachers. The school district officially broke ground on a new building on Thursday.
"Well I'm very excited. Because I've got 7 great-grandchildren who will attend up there. And that is super," says Verna Green of Cypress.
The excitement could be seen on each and every face as the students caught their first glimpse of the blueprints of their new school.
"We don't have a shopping mall, or a bowling alley here. And the school is one of the most, if not the most important thing to this community," says Superintendent Dennis Holland.
"And to have people involved in activities in this community takes a school to do it. This new school is going to enable that to keep going for the future, for many years to come."
With their hands over their hearts the 122 students joined together in the Pledge of Allegiance. Then each one was handed a red or white balloon. At the count of three the balloons were released into the air, as a final goodbye gesture to their old school house.
School board members were joined by the superintendent, as they turned the ceremonial shovel full of dirt from the building site. Marking a day that's sure to be remembered by future generations.
"It's going to be a once in a lifetime chance for this community. There's going to be a lot of smiles around here on the opening day," Superintendent Holland said.
The four million dollar project is scheduled to be completed for the 2006-2007 school year.