West ISD celebrates completion of first permanent facility - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

WEST

West ISD celebrates completion of first permanent facility

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For months, West ISD Superintendent Marty Crawford waited to hear back from FEMA and insurance companies to find out how much money they would receive to rebuild three schools destroyed in the fertilizer blast.

Less than a year later, West ISD celebrated the completion of their first permanent facility. Thanks to the efforts of the Texas Future Farmers of America Association construction happened as quickly as possible.

"When it comes to students, the clock is ticking for these students," Tom Maynard, Texas FAA Executive Director said. "You have to have a sense of urgency every day that goes by that they don't have those educational opportunities. They don't get those days back, they don't get those years back."

On Tuesday, the school district, along with representatives of several donors, celebrated the completion of their new agriculture and science facility. The building should be put to use later this school year for more than 200 students, and this has several of them excited about future.

"We were surprised and thankful when we found out we were going to get an Ag shop because we sit in classrooms and tell the stories about what happened in Ag shop last year," West junior Hannah Schneider said. "And it just reminds you how thankful you really are when you actually get the opportunity to get a new one."

Texas FFA says the agriculture community felt something needed to be done for agriculture students. They say the only way students can learn in Ag classes is by doing the work themselves.

"That hands-on experience stopped on April the 17th and they really have not had that opportunity," Maynard said. "And it is just important when you start to develop those technical skills to have that opportunity to actually do it."

Hundreds of fellow FFA chapters across the state got involved in funding the project. So did several big donors such as the State Fair of Texas, stock shows and rodeos in Austin, Houston, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, and notable local philanthropist Drayton McLane.

More than $200,000 was collected to make this day happen, and this has school administrators feeling the love and support statewide.

"When folks like the stock shows and individuals like Drayton McLane and students from across the state of Texas make things happen on behalf of West students, we are extremely grateful...and it certainly warms our heart," West ISD Superintendent Marty Crawford said.

For more information on the rebuilding progress of West ISD. Check out their website: restorewestisd.com

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