Utica Rebuilds

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Many Utica residents say the elementary school is the heart of their community.

"It's kind of like the life center of the community. If it's up and running we're on the mend," said Utica resident Bonnie Lucas.

The building sustained a good deal of damage from the April 20 tornado. Windows shattered, the roof collapsed, and water covered the floors.

"We've got a lot of interior finish out work. The ceilings, the flooring, the paint. We have extensive work," said Project Manager Brian Parsley of TriMark Catastrophe Services.

The first day of school for Waltham Elementary South students is April 17, so crews are working furiously to meet a tight deadline.

"It's a tight timeline, but we'll get it done," Parsley said.

Parents hope Waltham opens on time or students will have to be bused to another school seven miles away for shortened school days.

"It's very important that it's done and up and running and ready, so they can continue their education and get the full education the children need. Not part days," said Lucas.

Lucas says the reopening of the school will symbolize new beginning for Utica.