Former students, teachers watch as crews tear down Morris Elementary

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The demolition of Morris Elementary drew a crowd on Thursday morning as former students and teachers watched a building that holds many memories hit the ground.

"It's really sad, it's really heartbreaking," Beverly Burris, a former student, said.

Mounds of rubble; piles of steel all once created the environment of Burris's childhood.

"One of my favorite memories was having Mrs. Morris as my third grade teacher," Burris said.

Burris began her education at Morris Elementary School back in 1963. She grew up here.

"On November 22, 1963, which was my 7th birthday, and finding out that President Kennedy had been assassinated, and how that affected our school and our classroom," Burris said remembering a monumental day in her life. "I felt indelibly etched into the story of the Kennedy family; Caroline and I are not that far apart in age."

Jan Coryell-Mahone also watched as crews tore down the school where she's taught for more than two decades.

"It's kind of bittersweet seeing it come down a lot of memories in there," Coryell-Mahone said.

Coryell-Mahone and fellow educators fondly remember the students who learned in the demolished building, but they're looking forward to a new school year in a new building: Morris P8.

"Everybody was just giddy, we're all excited," Coryell-Mahone recalled of the day the teachers toured the new building. "It's a beautiful school and safety is a huge issue with the school too."

The district's Director of Construction confirmed the building can withstand 250 miles per hour winds, which is the equivalent of an EF 5 tornado.