TULSA - Students, parents and teachers vow to stay positive after the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences burns down, just a couple of weeks after opening in its new location.
"It's not as much of a building as it is a community," said Emma Rose Kraus, a junior at TSAS.
"It's just not an ordinary school, it's got teachers that actually care and other students that will let you sit by them no matter who you are," she said.
This was the first year the 300 TSAS students and all of the staff were in an actual school setting.
Previously, the charter school had been operating out of an office park near LaFortune Park since the school was founded in 2001.
"We were just starting to feel at home, we were just actually getting into the swing of things," said Kraus.
It was a long road to get inside the old Barnard Elementary building. The building was leased to TSAS by Tulsa Public Schools. It was empty because of Project Schoolhouse.
Many hours were spent painting, cleaning, updating and moving. Lots of money from grants and fundraisers was used to help it happen.
"We put a lot into this summer," said parent Genny Williams. "On our days off -- I work Monday through Friday, 8 to 5 -- and I was there all day Saturday, sometimes all day Sunday throughout the summer."
Williams said the work was worth it.
This was the first year students would have a real cafeteria, a gym and other amenities that other students take for granted.
"I just cried, we finally had a building where we could do stuff we couldn't do in that office building," said Williams.
Now they are starting over, unsure of what the future has in store, but determined to make it work. After all the TSAS mascot is the phoenix.
"TSAS will rise from the flames, we're phoenix," said Suzanne Lee, a teacher at TSAS.
"Now we are going to be able to rise up and find a way to keep on going to our school, because TSAS will keep on going no matter what, just because of how amazing our community is," said Kraus.
The students will go back to class Thursday inside the old Sequoyah Elementary, recently vacated due to Project Schoolhouse.
You donate to the school by logging onto the their websites, tsas.org or clicking right here to Donate to TSAS.
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