It's six in the morning on the last Friday before the start of the school year and the lights are on inside College Hill Elementary. The school's principal, Kathleen Patterson, is alone inside picking up trash and making last minute fixes.
"We've worked a long time, we're tired and I'm just ready for the normal chaos of school," Patterson said.
For the last year Patterson and the rest of the College Hill community has been dealing with a different sort of "chaos." In August of last year an electrical damaged 22 of the 26 classrooms at College Hill Elementary. Teachers had to move their students to Bryant Elementary for an entire year.
"I don't know if it's because they're young and we're old but our students were so adaptable and happy," Patterson said.
This summer Patterson and her staff spent hours cleaning and getting the old building ready for school this fall. Patterson says the fire wasn't all bad. During the renovations College Hill got state of the art upgrades and Patterson says the 40-year-old building looks "brand new."
Patterson says the work has been tough but it will be well worth it when students see their old school for the first time in a year at "meet the teacher night" Friday night.
The school and a block party will be open to the public after "Meet the Teacher Night" this evening at 6:30.