Eagar school severely damaged by plane crash reopens

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Location where plane crashed. By Alicia Barron Location where plane crashed. By Alicia Barron
Memorial put up by students to honor family killed in plane crash. By Alicia Barron Memorial put up by students to honor family killed in plane crash. By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

EAGAR, Ariz. – It has been exactly two months since a plane crashed into an Arizona school, killing the family on board.

The family was on a cross-country trip in June when their plane went down and hit Round Valley High School in Eagar, Arizona.

Much of the school was severely damaged but will be back open for the start of school on Thursday.

Two months ago when 3TV was in Eager, there was a building that housed a few classrooms, offices and the freshman hall. The damage from the plane crash was so bad that the whole thing had to come down.

On Wednesday 3TV was allowed to walk the campus with Principal John Allen, who says people have been working hard to get ready for the first day of school.

Allen admits, “I really can't believe that it happened. That window that's open right there was my office.”

Offices and classrooms were destroyed and the freshman hall was transformed into a twisted jungle of metal.

Allen explains, “After they had this all cleared out and we first came in, even having been in this building for as many years as we have it took awhile to kind of figure out where things were at, just because it's so different than how we remember it.”

On June 11 the Ulrich family was on its way to the Grand Canyon when their plane crashed into Round Valley High School and the family of four perished.

The plane reportedly crashed just after refueling at the Springerville Airport. When it split in two, gallons of gasoline caught on fire.  

Allen tells 3TV, “It looks much different, but there's still a feeling, a feeling of loss, but you can't help but hang on to for awhile, the devastating that was done here and the loss of life that occurred at that time.”

Since the crash students and community members have placed flowers and candles along the fence that surrounds the damaged portion of the school as a memorial for the family that died.

Principal Allen says thing will be tight for awhile because no portable classrooms or offices have been brought in. He commends everybody for working so hard to get ready for the kids on Thursday. The school is expected to be completed by the end of December.