Friday was a big day for Kingwood High School students. It was the last day they will have to travel all the way to Summer Creek High School for class.
When the students come back from spring break on March 19, they will finally be back on their own campus after Hurricane Harvey took it from them.
“Everyone in the community is finishing up construction, coming back in. So they get to go home, and we get to go home, too," said senior Grant Taylor.
It’s like coming home. Taylor says his final year has been nothing like he expected.
“At first I was kind of mad at the whole situation, just like, not being in my school for my senior year, having to adjust," Taylor said.
Before the first bell could even ring in the new school year, Harvey dumped several feet of water inside the high school.
“They really made it as best they could," Taylor said.
Harvey left an entire campus homeless.
“At that time, we thought the entire year would be out of here," Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen said.
Fagen says the arrangement they made with Summer Creek High School -- 5,000 students sharing one campus and two entirely different staffs coming together as one -- is what has made what seemed impossible today’s reality.
“Kingwood High School is definitely a lighthouse for this community, and having their children back in the community, it just makes a big difference in an area that’s going through a recovery," Fagen said.
On Friday, students got a chance to tour their newly remodeled campus.
“To come in and see just how far we’ve come since August, it’s crazy. It’s amazing, though," said junior Abigail McCollum.
The final details - furniture and finishing touches - lay inside cardboard boxes.
The school is almost done, but Harvey was still a lesson they wouldn’t have gotten in a classroom.
"It's shown it’s not really where you go to school, but who you’re going with and the administrators that are there. We really make the school. Not the building making us," Taylor said.
Students officially start spring break Friday, and when they come back to class, it will be at Kingwood High School on March 19th.
The entire renovation will cost about $70 million dollars, and will be funded through insurance, FEMA and the state.
Kingwood High School is also having a community celebration Saturday, March 24th. The public is invited.