EDISON - Months after a massive fire destroyed their school, parents and students are getting a first look at their new temporary home as James Monroe Elementary is rebuilt.
The school was destroyed in March, but the spirit of a community looking forward to the new school year is still intact.
After the fire, students finished out last school year at Middlesex County College.
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Thursday, the group toured the St. Cecelia's school building, newly refurbished for their use.
The former Catholic school was closed in 2012 by the Diocese of Metuchen. The diocese donated use of the building to the Edison schools district in April.
One parent says it's already special for her daughter, who is entering her first year at the school. "I think it's great... we're keeping everyone together," she says.
Kathy Rivas says it's difficult for the students to start over when they've been accustomed to a certain place, but she's still hopeful. "Thank God we made it through to the school year and hopefully this year will be much better."
The school district estimates that it could take two years to rebuild James Monroe on the original site.