ELKVIEW, W.Va. (WOWK) – Today was a long-awaited day in Elkview as community leaders and students and staff members broke ground on the new Herbert High School building.

The original school was heavily damaged in the 2016 floods that also took homes and even some families in the mountain state. For some Herbert Hoover students, the only “high school” building they will ever know are portable classrooms they’ve been learning in for the last three-and-a-half years.

“Herbert Hoover is not a place, never has been, Herbert Hoover is a part of the spirit that binds this community together,” says Herbert Hoover principal, Michael Kelley.

To many, this is a light at the end of the tunnel for the Elk River community.

“There’s no question there’s been all kinds of accomplishments but this is huge because this is absolutely a landmark in Kanawha County,” West Virginia Governor Jim Justice told 13 News at the event.

Community leaders, students and staff now celebrate the long-awaited start of re-construction.

“Everyone is super excited and we just can’t wait to see it and if I am the first graduating class it will be so special to me,” Alaina Douglas a Herbert Hoover High School Freshman. Which may happen with the project on track to be finished in the fall of 2022.