PORTLAND -- Three years after flames gutted Marysville Elementary School in Southeast Portland, students were finally able to head back to class Monday.

Many feared the school would never be the same after the huge fire. But after $4.5 million in repairs and countless hours of work, the district was able to reopen the popular school. Upgrades were also made on the building s fire alarms, sprinkler system and handicapped accessibility.

Teachers spent the last few days putting the finishing touches on their classrooms. The first glimpse was exciting for the 460 students who had been forced to move to Rose City Park School for the past three years.

I think the teachers have done a great job of trying to get the building put back together and getting ready for the kids, said Marysville 7th grader Mayleena Robinson.

It s been emotional for some people because they see how they rebuilt it and how much it's changed, added Marysville special education teacher Serene Bertram.

While classes started Monday morning, the school will hold its official grand opening ceremony on January 17th.

The original Marysville school structure was built in 1921.

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