St. Anthony School Opens After Fire
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
CREATED Jun. 14, 2013
OCONTO FALLS, WI – St. Anthony School in Oconto Falls is reopening nearly a year and a half after an arson fire that destroyed the school.
Teachers and community members are moving in, getting classrooms set up for students to return in the fall.
“Now we're coming back home,” said James Moynihan, a parishioner.
Saint Anthony’s is home for Moynihan. He went to school at St. Anthony’s, his nine kids, and grandkids, even his father went to school there 100 years ago.
The arson was devastating for him.
“Violated,” he said. “That's what you feel when you go through something like that. Someone breaks into your home, something like that; you feel that you've been violated.”
But after coming to work on the school for months he can show us a brand new building, renovated from top to bottom.
“The shell of the building is here, but the inside of the building completely renovated,” said Tom Malingowski, the building coordinator.
There are new classrooms, library, a computer lab, and an elevator.
“It was a bad thing that turned into a great thing,” said Moynihan.
It brought the community closer together. Many people donated money, supplies and even buildings to house students.
“The building came about because of the efforts of a lot of people in the parish and the parish community,” said Malingowski.
Students will return to St. Anthony’s in September.