Wheatley Elementary demolished to make way for new school building

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APOPKA, Fla. —

Sounds of destruction and particles of dust filled the air in south Apopka.

Demolition crews made way for a new school at the site of Phyllis Wheatley Elementary for the first time in six decades.

"Just to ride by and see it being demolished, it's sad but to know it's being upgraded to something else, it's a great feeling," Scott said.

The piles of concrete and twisted metal are remnants of a school many say should have been replaced years ago.

Eyewitness News first exposed pest problems, dirty ceiling tiles in classrooms and rusted pipes throughout the building in February.

In the piles of debris could be spotted old school supplies like papers and notebooks, even an old desk chair.

All will be replaced with new equipment when the new school opens.

"Certainly the children in south Apopka needed a state of the art building to compete for jobs in the 21st century," Orange County school board member Christine Moore said.

The project is expected to be the fastest rebuild in district history.

Crews used an old beam like a broom, scraping a clean slate for a site that's been a staple for generations.

"It has been a stepping stone in the community for hundreds of families and we love Wheatley," Barbara Barnes said.