Image courtesy Eric Meyers A screen shot from a now-famous video shot by Eric Meyers Oct. 24, 2010, as he found himself in the path of the tornado that struck the Rice area. Repairs to the school facility are nearly complete.

The repairs to Rice Intermediate School are almost completed.

Late last month, the eighth grade moved back into the building, the last grade to be allowed back into the facility after it was damaged on Oct. 24, 2010 by a large tornado that destroyed local homes, crunched through the brand new school building, and pulled up trees for miles around.

“We’re almost completely operational again,” said Rice Superintendent Judith Pritchett. “We still have the goal post on the football field to redo and the track, but we’ll wait until summer to do that.”

Also left to go are the lights on the baseball field, and the floor of the Intermediate school’s gymnasium.

“There were some pretty large gouges, because that’s where most of the damage was,” Pritchett said.

Making the work go faster was the fact that the facility was only open about six weeks when the tornado struck.

“Everything was fairly new and because of that those products were fairly easy to get hold of,” Pritchett explained.

The cost of the repairs was largely taken care of by the district’s insurance.

The other items were replaced through gifts from other school districts and individuals, Pritchett said.

“I’m very grateful to all those folks who were so generous to donate things the kids had lost,” she said. “A lot of the donations were specific, to replace the teachers’ supplies as well.”

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