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Rededication Held For Hoboken Catholic School 11 Months After Sandy Hit

HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - A school in Hoboken destroyed by superstorm Sandy was officially rededicated on Thursday.

As WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported, it's been a long road back for Hoboken Catholic Academy.

"A year is a long time to be displaced," principal Matt McGrath told Diamond.

Rededication Held For Hoboken Catholic School 11 Months After Sandy Hit

"It was like the resurrection. It was marvelous, it was really marvelous," Dr. Margaret Dames, superintendent of schools for the Newark Archdiocese, said.

The pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students were bused to other schools as the cleanup progressed over the past 11 months.

"If it had just been water, that would have been difficult. But what made it much more difficult is that there was an old oil tank" buried under the school that burst, said Steven Belloise, the director of property management for the archdiocese. "We had to kind of take it out one shovel at a time."

In all, 1,100 tons of contaminated soil had to be removed from under the school, Belloise said.

The students sang Amazing Grace as they helped rededicate the sparkling new gymnasium.

"When the hurricane hit, we were swept with such uncertainty," an eighth grader told Diamond. "And now with the new gym floor and all of the changes they made, we're excited for the new year."

Hoboken Catholic Academy rededication ceremony
New gymnasium floor at Hoboken Catholic Academy. A rededication ceremony was held Sept. 26, 2013. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

"It's just such a relief to be back. We really appreciate all the work that they did to get us back here and we're really loving the gym and it's just really awesome," said another eighth grade student.

The repairs cost the archdiocese $2 million.

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