Signs of recovery continue to show in Gatlinburg as Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts begins work on rebuilding from last year's wildfires.
Arrowmont lost two dormitories and a maintenance building the night of the fires. Thankfully, the history within the school's campus was spared the worst: The Red Barn and permanent collections were untouched.
The charred remains of what was lost that night were swept away months ago to make way for new buildings. Arrowmont said its goal is to build replacement buildings by next summer, and it's now about to put that plan into action.
The school is about to break ground on two new additions: a new dorm as well as a brand-new main entrance.
Arrowmont's director of institutional advancement Frances Day said they will hold a ground breaking ceremony for those next week.
That ceremony will be on school grounds at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8. followed by a reception.
Right now, the school said workshop participants are staying in hotels once the remaining three dorms fill to capacity. The school is using the original blueprints of the buildings to guide its rebuilding process.
Unfortunately, insurance won't be able to cover all the expenses, so Arrowmont is counting on the community to continue its rebuilding efforts.
In May, the school hosted a world record attempt for the largest square dance. Even though it missed the mark for the record, the school did raise 16,000 dollars to help it on its way to recovery.
If you would like to support Arrowmont's recovery or simply donate to the school, you can do so at this link.