Heritage University's new buildings almost finished

TOPPENISH, Wash. -- Brand new buildings are now in place after Heritage University caught fire a couple years ago. They'll be ready for use this fall.

Finishing touches are underway on brand new buildings at Heritage University. Flashback to two years and you wouldn't believe this building was destroyed by a fire.

"One minute the university was a whole and the next thing you know, part of the building is in little pieces," said student Cristal Reyes.

"A lot of memories," said student Alex Gutierrez. "A lot of history was made in that building."

Investigators determined the fire started in the attic space above the kitchen at Petrie Hall. But it wasn't clear what actually started the fire. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

"You may notice some of these bricks on this building are a different color," said KIMA. "That's because the university saved bricks from the old building that burned down and wanted to make it a part of this new building.

"From a tragedy has sprung now what has turned into tremendous opportunity," said Heritage University Vice President of Marketing and Communications David Wise.

The new building replacing Petrie Hall will have classrooms and offices. A new IT building was also built. As well as a new dining commons and bookstore building.

The cost for the projects? $12.5 million. A third is covered by an insurance payout from the fire. The rest will be from fundraisers. Any shortfalls will come from a privately financed bond.

"With the new buildings, it kind of made it a little bit more easier to cope," said student Harli Moran.

"It's exciting to know that we lost a building, but we gained three more," said Cristal.

Names have not been decided for any of the new buildings yet.

A grand opening will take place in September.