FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Seventh and eighth students, teachers, and staff returned Tuesday to the James S. Rickards Middle School campus.

The school was evacuated and subsequently shut down on March 5th, 2021 when the roof over the media center collapsed. Due to the pandemic, there were under 200 students and 55 faculty members in the building.

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Building 1 on the campus, where the collapse happened, is slated to be demolished and a new building will be constructed in its place.

“It looks promising from the photos and videos and stuff,” said student Samuel Centeno.

The returning students are being taught in portables. This is a relief to them and their teachers who had to make really big adjustments after the collapse. Some students were sent to other schools, while others had virtual learning.

“Sometimes it starts shaking inside where we are, because the building when they’re trying to fix the floors, it’s shaking where we are,” said student Vanessa Bonhomme.

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Partial roof collapse at James S. Rickards Middle School in Oakland Park. (CBS4)

Rickards was in the middle of a multi-million dollar renovation when the collapse happened.

According to the school district, the media center was under construction at the time, and no one was in the room. They said rain caused structural damage that caused the roof to give way

An engineering review conducted in April 2021, said failures of bolts used to connect L-shaped brackets from the wall to the roof joists led to the collapse.

“I had a couple of friends who were there that day and some of my teachers were also on campus,” said Centero.

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Fire rescue said while no one was hit by flying debris, seven students and five staff members complained of headaches and nausea from stress and dehydration. Five were taken to the hospital for observation.

CBSMiami.com Team