PARADISE, Calif. (KTXL) -- Among the 18,000 structures burned in the Camp Fire was Paradise Adventist Academy. While the school has yet to reopen, students took a trip back to campus on Friday – one year later.
“I loved being on this campus but I loved being on this campus when there was a town to be in,” junior Stacy Wisener said.
Wisener was in the band room when she learned the fire that would eventually consume her home was making its way through Paradise.
“We were in band and our principal walked in and told us, like, ‘You know, you might want to go home. We’re not gonna have school,’ and then like 10 minutes later he came in again and was like, ‘You need to go home, you need to evacuate and start packing up,’” Wisener said. “Looking on the board we still have assignments due from last year. Yeah, it’s very strange being in the classrooms a year later.”
For the last year, students have been relocated to its sister school in Chico.
Principal Monte Nystrom says the school has come a long way since the its gymnasium and K through 4 buildings suffered damage from the fire.
“It’s refreshing to see the impact when we were driving up into the campus one of the things I heard a student say as we drove in was ‘I miss this place,’” Nystrom said.
But there is still a long way to go. Even a year later, the school is without electricity and water.
The school’s enrollment dropped by nearly 30% but Nystrom says soon his students will permanently be back on campus through hard work and the power of prayer.
“There’s just a lot of people here, not only here throughout our community, throughout the nation, throughout the world actually who are praying for us, pulling for us, cheering for us and that’s encouraging," Nystrom said.
If things go according to schedule, school officials say their Paradise campus should be open by next school year.