DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — It was the second first day of school Friday for the students at The Cambridge School of Dallas. The small, Christian college-prep school was devastated by the EF-3 tornado and forced to relocate from Northway Church. But even though its home was destroyed, the school is very much still alive.
As soon as it was safe after the tornado passed, the head of The Cambridge School of Dallas rushed to assess the damage at Northway Church, from which The Cambridge School leased space.
“I never expected watching the Cowboy game Sunday night that an impending tragedy for the school would be unfolding in just a few short minutes,” said Dr. Paul Wolfe.
He knew immediately that the 108 students and faculty would need a new building, and the search commenced. It ended when Fellowship Church at Park Lane and 75 opened its doors to the school Friday morning.
“The classrooms are plenty spacious. They’re very colorful, and I told the faculty when we announced this, ‘We need more color in our lives, especially after this event,’ and so it’s working out great. It really is,” said Dr. Wolfe.
After 8 days away, students said they were ready to reunite and return – to the same school, just not the same walls.
“Cambridge is still going to be the same. My Cambridge experience is still going to be the same,” said senior Matthew Monier. “I think the school is a lot more than the building. The values that we have and the people and especially the professors, it sticks with us.”
Monier and other students passed the time with a different kind of work – volunteering to patch windows and clear roadways.
“I have been so proud of them for the way that they have reached out and helping others at a time when they themselves were also facing their own needs,” said Dr. Wolfe.
He said watching how the school community reacted to adversity left him the one inspired.
“When I saw the enthusiasm, the enthusiastic embrace of the students, of the faculty, and their can-do spirit, I was really honored to be a part of that.”
The school will remain at Fellowship Church for at least the rest of the school year. Before the tornado, they had purchased land nearby to build a permanent school, which will open in 2021.