Gymnastics center hit by tornado to reopen with virtual learning classroom

Magnitude 10.0 Gymnastics tornado damage
Posted at 5:19 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 22:18:47-04

HERMITAGE, Tenn. (WTVF) — After the Magnitude 10.0 Gymnastics building was hit by the March tornado, they’ve decided to reopen their new facility with a virtual learning classroom for students.

Owner Maggie Nelson said the tornado sent her world spinning in a million directions.

“At first it was completely devastating. Crying constantly, and then the pandemic hit, so then we kind of relaxed, and then I was like, 'OK we can think about what we’re going to do,'” Nelson said.

Since then, she, her staff and volunteers worked to save what they could and make adjustments for the road ahead.

In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, many working parents have been scrambling to make plans since Metro Nashville Public Schools, and other schools, are starting the school year virtually.

“And what’s great is it’s 20,000 square feet so if we have an influx of children, we can spread out since we don’t have classes until the evening," Nelson explained.

Manager Heather Hammond said they hired a teacher to oversee students who are doing virtual learning.

“One lady said 'we’re eternally grateful,'” Hammond said.

They plan to follow school and health guidelines to protect students from COVID-19.

“There will be a wall that’s going to say, 'so and so has a Zoom call this time'... absolute structure.”

Meanwhile, Nelson will be busy making the new facility her own with lots of surprises and chandeliers.

“There was a wall there that we knocked out, and in the foyer, there is going to be our tornado wall," Nelson said.

They look forward to having gymnasts and students at their facility again.

“In gymnastics when you fall off the beam, you are taught to get back on immediately,” Hammond said.

They will have an open house on August 1 at the new facility. More information can be found by clicking here.