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Demolition begins on damaged Moore schools

Plaza Towers demolition

MOORE, Okla. – Demolition begins at two school in Moore badly damaged by last week’s tornado.

Thursday morning crews began tearing down Plaza Towers elementary as well as nearby Briarwood.

Seven children, all third graders, lost their lives last week Plaza Towers.

The work marked another emotional day on the long road to recovery.

“It’s heartbreaking to see a good little school gone,” said Plaza Towers parent Lisa Tennyson.

Tennyson said her daughter Zoe survived being buried by debris after the tornado hit.

Yet Zoe still can’t imagine going to school anywhere else.

“She told me if she can’t go to Plaza for 6th grade, she’s not going.  I said you have to go,” said Tennyson.

“No I don’t,” said Zoe.

“You see all people you know and the pain they’re going through, it’s emotional,” said Plaza Towers parent Richard Dixon.

Richard Dixon and his whole family, including his daughter who went to first grade at Plaza Towers, also came out to watch the demolition of the decades old building.

“I went to school here in kindergarten, so there’s a lot of memories here,” said Dixon.

As crews toppled walls at Briarwood even more families looked on.

The plan is to rebuild both schools on the same sites.

“As long as they build safe shelters, that’s the biggest hope, so no more lives are lost,” said Tennyson.

Plaza Towers Panther may be saved from demolition as a tribute to school and the children.

Plaza Towers Panther may be saved from demolition as a tribute.

Back at Plaza Towers, everyone hopes a wall with a black panther is used as a permanent memorial to the lives lost.

“This school has been here 47 years. As long as there’s a memorial for the kids, it’ll be nice to see kids playing on the playground again here,” said Dixon.

It should take a few days to finish the demolition.

Once Plaza Towers and Briarwood are torn down, the plan to reopen both schools in 2014.