Demolition begins on West High School - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Demolition begins on West High School

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WEST -

Demolition has begun on the West High School as the semester comes to a close.

Construction crews started demolishing the West High School Wednesday morning. The school suffered severe structural damage after the April 17th explosion. It lies just a few hundred hours from the blast site.

Crews were going to start Tuesday, but it was delayed due to weather. Now that it has started, teachers and faculty say it was very emotional seeing it torn down.

"Well it's sad just for the whole High School, lots of memories," West art teacher Diana Whiteley said. "We had a great time."

Whiteley's room and office were one of the first sections to be demolished Wednesday. She fought back tears as she recalled the memories of the building she spent six years working.

"We had a great time, it was a great facility, something that everyone was very proud of," Whiteley said.

Students also fought back tears remembering the times at the old high school. Junior Holly Soukup says she made a lot of good memories, specifically in the cafeteria.

"We're going to cry, we have so many memories made in that building and just thinking about it now I'm stopping my tears, Soukup said. "To see those memories demolished, it's like a part of us is missing."

Senior Jackson Kucera says his last memory of the building is having a water balloon fight the day of the explosion.

"Everyday I think about it and I wish we were back there," Kucera said. "We know we can't go back in and everybody wants to see it one last time. But it's time for it to go and time for us to move on, there's bigger and better things for us."

The demolition comes the week before the first full school semester after the explosion ends. As everyone prepares for the break, students and faculty looked back on how the temporary campus worked. Both say, they're doing alright. It started out kind of rocky, but it's getting better.

"But I feel like things have really smoothed out, calmed down, more routine now. So it's a better feeling at this point in the year than it was say in August," Whiteley said.

As an art teacher Whiteley says one of her main issues with the campus is lack of storage. She has to fit in a classroom and a storage room in the same temporary classroom. She says when she has her full allotment of students, it can get pretty tight.

Whiteley says one of the nicer things about the campus is the open spaces. Connecting each temporary building is a wooden boardwalk, and when students walk out of class they're outside in the fresh air. Students also say that's nice, but it can get pretty rough when hot or cold temperatures come through.

Whiteley also says the situation has brought students and faculty together. She says everybody is pretty happy with the temporary campus.

Kucera and Soukup agreed saying they like the boardwalk. They also say they're completely fine with graduating from the temporary facility. While they miss their old school, as long they graduate from West, they'll be happy.

West Independent School District plans on building a new high school. That is set to be completed in 2015.

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