(WHAS11) -- Henryville elementary, junior high and high school students had a monumental first day back to school.
Their school was torn apart on March 2 by a tornado, but just months later, they are in a brand new building.
It is a new chapter for the rest of their lives.
Henryville students are headed home after what their principal called a remarkable first day of class.
"I think they learned a life lesson in that part in dealing with the tragedy of March 2," said Troy Albert, Henryville Junior Senior High School Principal.
These kids grew up fast, as their school was re-built just as quickly.
From tornado-ravaged about five months ago to a new school, you could sense a transformation that goes beyond new brick and mortar.
"It's more energetic and better atmosphere I think. It's more fun to be in," said Cody Reister, Henryville High School Senior.
Charles Greenwood, Henryville High School Senior, said, "The best thing is pretty much the class periods since everyone you know is there."
A $54 million in restoration and repairs, by the Belfor Company, helped open the school to everyone's amazement on Aug. 7.
While others in the area are still rebuilding near the school, Henryville has re-newed Hornets pride with new paint, new desks, new chairs and supplies.
To mark the "Kodak moment" Lifetouch snapped a forever photo of elementary faculty and staff. It's a new image for the Henryville Hornets. And it can be read on their shirts: "They're back in the hive."
Vanessa Goodknight, Henryville Fifth Grade Teacher, said, "Just looking around it is surreal seeing everybody. You see the students and they're going through and they're doing great. They're just so happy to be here."
The principal did not allow news crews inside during class. He wanted students and teachers to savor this moment and reunite without any disruptions.
Visit our Kentuckiana Tornado section for a look back at the devastation caused by the storms that blew through Kentuckiana March 2.