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NASCAR champ helps rebuild Moore school gymnasiums

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MOORE, Okla. - Last year's tornado in May not only destroyed two schools in Moore, it left others heavily damaged. One of those damaged was Highland East Junior High.

A home security camera near the school caught video of lockers being thrown into a yard when the tornado destroyed the fieldhouse and several portable classrooms.

Thursday, 16 months after the storm, the school celebrated the opening of a brand new fieldhouse.
Highland East Principal Mark Archer said, "This marks a transition it marks a huge milestone."

An excited crowd gathered at the brand new gym Thursday.​
Students, teachers and members of the community have waited patiently for the construction to be completed and for the gymnasium to open.

Archer said, "It is the lifeblood of a campus. This is wheer families come to watch their children compete. This is where we have the dances and the activities."

The new gym is thanks to Lowe's and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation.
Jimmie Johnson, a six time NASCAR champion, was there along side Lowe's officials to cut the ribbon and officially open the gym.

Johnson says his wife is from Oklahoma. After seeing the devestation first hand he knew he had to do something to help.

Johnson said, "As a parent it crushed me. I couldn't imagine what the families were going through."

Local Lowe's employees have also been instrumental in making this happen.

While many of them were personally impacted by the storm they have made it a point to help rebuild and re-landscape this school.

It's dedication Johnson says he sees around the whole community.

He said, "Looks like things are going down the right road. There's a lot of smiling faces now."

The Jimmie Johnson Foundation and Lowe's also helped fund new gymnasiums at Briarwood and Plaza Towers.