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Princeville Students Begin Class in New Building

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PRINCEVILLE — Thirteen months after Hurricane Floyd flooded their campus, some Princeville students made a long-awaited homecoming Tuesday.

Last year's destruction atPrinceville Montessori Schoolwas a distant memory as children and teachers filled the hallways of a new building.

"It is hard to believe that we are back and so soon," says teacher Zelma Peeler.

The brand-new building is built on the site of the old building flooded after Hurricane Floyd.

With the new building, students leave behind a group of mobile units that filled the need, but did not offer many extras. A trip to the cafeteria, a trip to another classroom or even a trip to the bathroom required a trip outside.

Principal Mary Odom says her teachers and 300 students have earned the new building.

"They need to know how to be under one roof, inside of a building, to see other children, to hear other voices," she says. "I think that's important for the children."

It will take some time to settle in, but teachers say it already feels like home.

The building that opened Tuesday is only the first phase of the construction project. About 75 students will remain in new mobile units for a few more months. The next part of the project should be open next August.