Stone Harbror

Stone Harbor Mayor Suzanne Walters gives a kiss to second-grade student Isadora Bosacco on Monday before entering the Stone Harbor Elementary School. The building reopened for the first time Monday morning since being flooded and closed from Hurricane Sandy.

Dale Gerhard

STONE HARBOR — Parents lined up outside Stone Harbor Elementary School on Monday, chatting with friends and waiting for their children at the end of a much-anticipated day.

"They like it here," said Vicki Villano, a Dennis Township resident whose 8-year-old son Dylan attends the school, which reopened Monday after being closed because of Hurricane Sandy.

The school, home to 78 students in grades kindergarten to four, had been closed since the end of October when the storm left behind as much as a foot of water in some parts of the building.

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Students spent the next several months attending school in neighboring Avalon.

"They were great," Villano said of Avalon's hospitality. "They included the children in every activity."

But after extensive repairs that involved replacing some floors, sheet rock and other basics the Stone Harbor school was able to reopen.

“Welcome Back” banners greeted students at the front door.

Renee Murtaugh, supervisor of curriculum and instruction, said Monday that she, the students and staff were happy to be home.

"We worked really hard to get the building up and running," she said.

Borrowing from the old saying what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, Murtaugh said, "Stone Harbor school is stronger."

The renovations included a new gym floor, new carpeting, the removal of old tiles and the installation of new sheet rock in the building, which first opened in 1957.

Parents such as Juan Vazquez, of Cape May Court House, welcomed the school’s reopening.

As he waited for his daughters, Nynoshka, 10, and Neysha, 5, he said that while the children didn't seem too bothered to have to move to another school, he was glad to see them back in familiar surroundings.

Villano's son was shy about it, but offered the same sentiment, saying he had a good first day in the renovated school.

"We tried to make it light and bright and make it so the kids would love coming to school," Murtaugh said.

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