WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WGGB) — On June first a tornado devastated parts of Western Massachusetts. Among the areas hard hit was Cathedral High School on Surrey Road.
On Tuesday, Cathedral students began their classes for the new academic year. But it wasn’t at their Surrey Road location.
Cathedral’s new, temporary home away from home, is the vacant Memorial School in Wilbraham. Inside you’ll see a welcoming sign for the Cathedral community.
They’ve had to put 360 students in this school. Some classrooms were divided. Teachers have had to share classrooms. The community including students, parents, and teachers have rolled up their sleeves to make it work.
“It’s all designed to keep the Cathedral program operating as smoothly in transition as possible, The Cathedral community sticks together, people are very supportive about the move. I’m sure it’s going to work,” says Principal John Miller.
Students we spoke with say starting the school year in Wilbraham is a little different but they say Cathedral is a lot more than just a building. Says Rachel Roccanti, “I definitely feel it’s not so much a building as a community, as long as we’re all together.”
Jerry Shim, a cathedral Senior, says he’s very much at home in the new location, “I think the unique thing about Cathedral is the type of people here, they are religious and they are very kind,” says Shim.
The feeling of Cathedral’s community spirit is evident in their new location. Students, teachers and staff are settling in.
The message for the community is that the tornado may have damaged Cathedral’s building on Surrey Road, but it hasn’t dampened the spirit of the Cathedral family. According to Cathedral President Ann Southworth, “Cathedral has been here for 128 years and it will be here for another 100 years, and we’re always going to meet our current and future needs.”
While Cathedral students are attending classes in Wilbraham, students at St. Michael’s Academy, also damaged by the tornado, are attending class at the Holy Cross School in Springfield.
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