NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The usual sounds of a construction site echo through the Donelson Christian Academy campus, as the school continues to rebuild after the March 2020 tornado.
"There is no longer very much quiet," DCA headmaster Keith Singer said with a laugh. "We call it the sound of progress."
The progress comes after the school took a direct hit from the storm. The tornado flattened the elementary wing of the school, crushed classrooms and scattered homework across the neighborhood.
"When you first drove in, you're just kind of in shock and it's devastating to see all the damage," Singer said. "Your first thought is, 'wow this is unbelievably challenging and devastating.'"
A year later, the debris is cleaned up and replaced with construction equipment. But Singer said the school isn't just rebuilding, it's expanding and adding a second floor to the wing that was destroyed by the storm.
"We’re walking through a hallway that will be for our third fourth and fifth graders," Singer said while giving NewsChannel 5 a tour of the site. "This is space that did not exist before the tornado."
"At the end of the day, the tornado, as devastating as that was and as challenging and as tough as it was, really gave us the opportunities to do some incredible things on this campus."
Things that Singer says wouldn't have been possible without the community's support, including an anonymous $1 million donation to help rebuilding efforts.
"The outpouring was there immediately after the tornado and has continued ever since," Singer said. "We’re just incredibly blessed with where we are this year as we enter early March, compared to where we were a year ago."