Construction Starts On Phil Campbell High School

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PHIL CAMPBELL, Ala. (WHNT) - The tornado outbreak of 2011 will never be forgotten in the Franklin County town of Phil Campbell.

Not only were homes and businesses destroyed, the town's high school was left unusable.

Since a tornado swept through town, the Franklin County Board of Education has struggled with state and federal agencies to get the school rebuilt.

However, happier times are on the horizon for the Franklin County community.  Construction workers have started the process of clearing land and moving dirt to make way for a new school.

"Finally the day has come that we can see some construction beginning," said Superintendent Gary Williams.

Crews began the tedious task of breaking up the old concrete foundation where Phil Campbell High School once stood, making way for a new $17-million dollar, state of the art facility.

“I know our students there, and our faculty, and people in the community are excited about it. You hear people talking all over," said Williams.

According to Williams, the new school will take between 18 and 24 months to complete.

In the meantime, students will continue to use temporary classrooms located just feet from the construction zone.

"We never imagined all the red tape and loop holes you have to jump through, it's just unbelievable. We fill like we are through most of them now, and we're ready to move forward," said Williams.

As the construction equipment chisels and chews through the old concrete, Williams sees a rallying point for the Phil Campbell community starting to come back from the dust that once stood here.

The Franklin County Board of Education has already spent $4-million dollars for portable classroom's and football field repairs at Phil Campbell High School.

That money is part of their $25-million dollar insurance settlement.