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Pine Forest H.S. Goes from From Ashes To Awesome

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FAYETTEVILLE — The clock is ticking at

Pine Forest High School

. Classes begin in three weeks, and crews are still repairing fire damage the school suffered in May.

Crews have been working every day since Memorial Day, when a fire damaged a section of the school. Despite the hard work, it will not be finished by the timestudents return.

School employee Shawn Barnes, 31, was charged with setting the fire which caused more than $2.5 million in damage.

One area will be closed when school starts on Aug. 21, but the school's principal says overall they are ready for the bell to ring.

This school year, the theme at Pine Forest is "From Ashes to Awesome."

"Nothing can come between the school and our students. We have a lot of pride and we hang our heads high and can get through this," says student La'Sharal Blue.

Getting to classes will be more challenging. Because of flooring and structural issues, six classrooms will remain off limits. Four of those classrooms are expected to be fixed soon after school starts, but for now, one hallway will be closed.

"There will be some convenience issues. We'll allow more leeway getting to class because of some transfer issues," says principal Tim Farley.

Construction and cleanup is still going on in other parts of the building. Custodians continue to clean away soot while wires and ceiling tiles are being replaced.

The principal says he will talk with students about the fire, and in his words, look for laughter instead of sadness.

In fact, the school band is adding a new song to its halftime show. They will be playing "Come On Baby Light My Fire."


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