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WEBSTER COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — The old East Webster High School building was destroyed by a tornado more than three years ago.

Now the senior class is the first to graduate from their brand new building, which opened last October.

68 East Webster High seniors graduated in their new tornado-proof domed gym.

“It was definitely incredible,” said graduate Kayla Neal. “You could see everybody smiling. Everybody in the community was happy for us to be back here, and have such a wonderful facility. We didn’t expect that many people to be there.”

An EF-3 tornado destroyed their school back in April 2011 – their freshman year.

And up until last fall, they had to go to class at the old Wood Junior College.

“We came out, and there were trees, and a lot of damage around the school, so we knew that we were going to have to go somewhere to finish out the rest of our freshman year,” said graduate Samuel Butler.

“It was definitely devastating to see such a wonderful school go down like the way it did, but I definitely enjoyed coming back to a new facility, and I’m very thankful that we have a new facility,” Kayla said.

Samuel says high school went by faster than he expected with the move.

“We really didn’t get to go to classes,” he said. “We had to help move a lot of the equipment and stuff, so it went by pretty quick.”

The experience caused them to grow up quickly too.

“We just had to take on a whole lot more responsibility, and actually think a whole lot more about anything can happen at any time. We’ve just got to be prepared, and ready to do anything to help out,” Samuel said.

Both Kayla and Samuel say they enjoyed high school, but they’re ready to start the next chapter.

Samuel says he plans to play tennis at either Holmes or Meridian Community College.

Kayla’s heading to Holmes on a dance scholarship.

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