Written by Amanda Sexton-Ferguson, Courtesy of The Winona Times and The Conservative

Along with hundreds of friends, students, and patrons of Winona Christian School, I waited patiently to get a peek at the newly-reconstructed gymnasium Monday night.

Since a fire nearly destroyed the building last October, construction has been ongoing to get the gym back to working order. Along with the gym, the school lost two classrooms and the cafeteria, which were located in the same building- leaving students and faculty displaced.

However, according to Headmaster Cameron Wright, everyone took the disruption in stride - relocating the school's basketball season, losing indoor P.E. classes, eating lunch in hallways and classrooms, and using portable classrooms.

Well, sometimes a tragedy can become a blessing, and even though it didn't seem so that fateful day in October, that is the case at Winona Christian School.

After the ribbon was cut on the new gym and 3000-square-foot, stand-alone cafeteria next door, guests moved quietly into the gym. Smelling of fresh paint and lacquer on the floor, the new gym is definitely a step forward for the school.

After the old lament floor warped in the heat of the fire, new hardwood floors were installed and gleamed under new lighting. Central heat and air conditioning is new as well, as is a large personalized scoreboard on the south end of the gym. The old scoreboard hangs on the opposite wall.

The bleachers were saved and repainted, and the stage floor has been stripped and refinished to its original hardwood glory. Up above the school's logo at center court, stars adorn the rafters.

A reception followed the unveiling in the new cafeteria, which will now seat more than 70 students. The building is significantly larger than the former cafeteria, offering students a comfortable space for meals.

As an ardent supporter of education, both public and private, I am thrilled that Winona Christian students can now enjoy these upgraded facilities. First, after the disruption of school life caused by the fire and for keeping such positive attitudes throughout the reconstruction, these kids deserve the luxury.

Secondly, well, I just love a happy ending.

Read more:The Winona Times and The Conservative - Sometimes tragedy can become a blessing