Heritage University plans to rebuild after it caught fire a year ago

TOPPENISH, Wash. -- It's been nearly a year since Heritage University caught fire. Now the school's coming close to completing its master plan to rebuild.

It's been a long road to recovery for the students and staff at Heritage University. Gradually moving forward after a fire destroyed the university's main building.

"The opportunity that this now creates for the university to get behind its growth plans is certainly a meaningful event in the history of the university," said Heritage University spokesperson David Wise.

Portables were put into place to hold classes. Students said they're looking forward to getting new buildings put into place.

"They could've done something maybe a little bit better but at least they're trying to do something good," said Jesus Orozco.

Heritage plans to build three new buildings. One for students in the High School Equivalency Program, an art studio and an I-T building. The 29,000 square foot project will go in the heart of the main campus, but it needs money first.

"We are still dependent upon private funding sources to make up the gap between insurance so we are actively securing private donations that will help fill that gap and allow us to move forward," said David.

The school estimates the project will cost more than eight-million dollars. Administrators hope to start construction next fall. Phase one should take about a year.

"The loss through a traumatic event like a fire is never a good thing however the fact nobody was injured in the fire is certainly a blessing," said David.

Changes forced by disaster. Changes that will give Heritage a new beginning.

The cause of the fire at Heritage University was never determined. Investigators said there was too much damage to the building to find what sparked the flames.