Grace Baptist Academy Children's Center rebuilds after Easter tornadoes, reopens Monday

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / The recently rebuilt Grace Children's Center, left, will reopen Monday after Easter storms devastated the campus. The rest of the Grace Academy campus, seen the right of the center, and is still a scene devastation.

The children will be back Monday morning, for the first time since a devastating tornado tore through the Grace Baptist Academy Children's Center on Shallowford Road late on Easter night.

"Everyone who's coming back says it's like coming home again," said Sheri Hicks, the director of the center for little ones from infancy to preschool. "I feel like it kind of gives us hope."

The reconstruction of the children's center began in June, and was in its very last stages the week of Thanksgiving, with workers spreading gravel and handling finishing touches around the property.

Behind the center, however, where the rest of Grace Baptist Academy once stood, the scene is very different.

"It is eerie," Hicks acknowledged, surveying the largely barren, 17-acre campus. "It's like a little oasis in the middle of all this ugly."