Magoffin Co. school receives money for tornado relief

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SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT/WKYT) - A Magoffin County school has received tens of thousands of dollars to help replace what was lost after the March 2 tornado.

Herald Whitaker Middle School was awarded $20,000 from Dollar General to help restock and rebuild the library.

School officials say this was a big step in moving forward.

For more than eight months it has been sitting there battered and broken.

"It was completely destroyed," said HWMS Principal Johnnie Johnson.

The middle school received the most damage of the three schools.

"We lost almost all of our technology," said Magoffin County Superintendent Stanley Holbrook.

The gaping hole seen in the middle of the school was once the library, blown away by the tornado that ripped through March 2.

"We have basically been left with zero books," said Johnson.

School officials refused to give up, and when they heard about a grant offered by Dollar General they knew they had to apply.

"It fit our description exactly what we needed because all of our books were lost in the tornado. It had to be a school affected by a natural disaster," said HWMS Librarian Connie Hale.

They were awarded $20,000 to help them replace all that was lost.

"It was a good grant, and we really needed the money," said Hale.

The middle school is boarded up and basically condemned. School officials say they have been told it is nearly a 75% loss, so they say the grant is just one small step in getting things back to normal for the students and teachers.

"The generosity of people is just kind of overwhelming to us, and this right here is just another example," said Johnson.

They say they will continue working to move forward one step at a time.

"Everybody is trying to overcome this disability," said Holbrook.

Faculty members say they let the students make lists of books they like to help them choose some of the books they will buy with the grant.

They high school and middle school students still share a building. School officials plan to build a new school on the parkway that will become the high school. The current high school will then be used only for middle school students.

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