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WEST (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The Central Texas town which was devastated by a 2013 fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people is getting two new schools. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday morning in West to replace the middle school and high school that were leveled in the April 2013 accident.

Construction has now started on the joint campus, another sign of progress in the town.

The West Independent School District announced the groundbreaking for the $50 million project as part of continuing recovery efforts. Insurance money and government funds are helping paying for the schools.

Hundreds of students were on hand to talk about how the new school will be more than just a building. “It’s our community as a whole that makes it more than a building,” said West High School freshman Lorelei Uptmore. “The building doesn’t define West. We are the pride of West.”

More than 260 people were injured in the West Fertilizer Co. explosion.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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