Local Students Sing Praises Following School Fire

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Students and teachers were on their feet Thursday at the Innovation School of Excellence. They sang praises to drown out memories of a fire which destroyed the school last September and forced school administrators to relocate classes.

"The kids were wonderful, parents were wonderful. They were extremely understanding, so the worst part was loosing instructional time, academic time," said teacher Clarence Smith.

Students now have a place to call home. Sixteen new portable classrooms were dedicated with an allegiance to the flag and to the Bible.

"It is just so wonderful being an instructor where I can say amen if I choose. I can sing with my students and I can lay my hands and pray with them throughout the course of the day," said teacher Janice Roberson.

The school's director, Elder Otis Young, says from the ashes rose a miracle.

"Through all of the transition, we lost a lot of employees and we lost some children, but in the midst of that we became unified as a school. I feel everyone left is here for the right cause," said Young.

The new facility came with a price tag of close to $700,000. Most of that money was raised through the Innovation Baptist Church.

School officials hope to have a larger facility open in three years. The cause of last year's blaze remains undetermined.