Brindlee Mountain Primary looking to future, 1-year after tornado damaged school

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala – One year ago, wind speeds reached 120 when an EF-2 tornado struck the Brindlee Mountain community, destroying part of Brindlee Mountain Primary School. Students and staff eventually returned to learning 16-days later at Brindlee Mountain Middle School. Just 7 short weeks later, COVID-19 sent students home for virtual learning.

“If you said, hey something was coming down the road in 2 months that will disrupt your school life more than a tornado, I don’t think anybody would believe that,” said Terry Allen, the principal at Brindlee Mountain Primary School.

When primary students are physically in school, they are learning in the Brindlee Mountain Middle School building. The original, tornado damaged building will eventually be repurposed into a community center of sorts. Allen says the gym will need some work, but will eventually be good to go.

Earlier in 2020 the Brindlee Mountain community had to decide how to move forward with the primary school. The options were to rebuild or make an education complex by permanently joining the primary school with the middle/high school land. The later was chosen and according to Allen, upgrades to buildings will hopefully start taking shape in the Spring.

Progress aside, Principal Allen says 2020-2021 has tried to break the community’s will, but failed.

“Being and educator is all about relationships. It’s about building a relationship with that parent, that student,” said Allen. “Kids are resilient. They are pretty quick to adapt to their situation.”

Allen says the support the community gave Brindlee Mountain was eye-opening. Adding he was pleasantly surprised when donations rolled in from as far as Washington State.

“I’ve got enough glue sticks to you know, you can put the world back together, I believe,” said Allen.

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