ST. JOSEPH -- Just when things looked down for Roosevelt students and employees, one item continues to bring them hope.

Things are off to a great start at the new Early Childhood Center at Colts Academy in St. Joseph.

The building serves as the new home for the center after a fire on June 14th destroyed the previous location at the Roosevelt school.

Alicia Jepsen is the Director of Early Childhood Services. She says Colt Academy is finally feeling like home.

"We were busy all summer cleaning and painting. We ordered all new furniture and toys and moved in on August 26th," says Jepsen.

However prior to the school year, as crews were digging through the debris of what was left of Roosevelt a single American flag was found which gave the school new hope.

"They pulled it out and it had smoke and water damage and so the restoration company restored it and brought it too us and we were shocked that it survived," says Jepsen.

The flag had been hanging on a wall in the north end of Roosevelt. It was given to the school as a gift prior to the deployment of Major John Donovan to Bosnia in 2003-2004.

"I had forgotten about the flag until they called me and said it survived the fire and asked if I would be willing to rededicate it here," says Donovan.

Donovan, along with members of the six fire departments that worked to stop the blaze, hung the flag at the new facility to remind us that good can come from a bad situation.

"I think this is what the American Spirit is all about, even though there is hardships we overcome and adapted," says Donovan.

Roosevelt Education Center was built in 1920 and housed the childhood center.


Local fire fighters and Major John Donovan (right) receive thank you's for the work on the Roosevelt Fire and a flag that means so much to the school. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)