Storm-damaged Long Island school reopens - New York News

Superstorm Sandy

Storm-damaged Long Island school reopens

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"Rock the Return" was the message at East Rockaway High School Monday. The school officially reopened six months to the day after Superstorm Sandy. There were hugs and smiles at school and a sign outside the building read "welcome home."

The school suffered $10 million worth of damage after Sandy flooded the building with five feet of water.

Since the storm students have been attending two different schools in Baldwin.

Junior Alyssa Rillera said it has been difficult for everyone.

"I was actually out of my house too, so not only did I lose our school but I lost my house," Rillera said. "So it was like being out of two houses."

The district paid for some of the school's repairs with insurance and hopes the rest will be paid for with money from FEMA.

The school's principal said it has been a long road, which makes Monday's reopening extra special.

"The kids have just been through so much from being displaced in their homes to being displaced from the school, and losing their community feeling they have, which is so strong here in this community," Principal Joseph Spero. "It's a testament to the fortitude of everyone."

The school's gym and kitchen are not yet ready to reopen but the school's superintendent said the school will work around that.

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