Brad Paisley Performs at Grand Re-Opening for Flood-Damaged High School
Brad Paisley returned to his home state of West Virginia over the weekend, participating in the grand re-opening of Elkview's Herbert Hoover High School after the school was destroyed by flooding in 2016.
Paisley participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony, toured the newly-constructed facility and performed for students after a football scrimmage.
"This is the nicest high school I have ever seen. I can't tell you how amazing it is to see something that devastating and that terrible turned into something so inspiring," the singer told students and staff during the ribbon-cutting portion of the day.
"High school can be a very difficult time in a student's life because it's filled with trivialities. You're worried about how you'll fit in, about what you're wearing, if you're popular and doing well in classes," he continued. "But what you've been given here is a glimpse of something much larger. It's been a glimpse of the real world and the wonderful things that human beings can do for one another in the face of disaster. That should overshadow all the trivialities of high school for you. And never lose sight that good people came together to build this for you and your future."
According to local news affiliate WHSV, the school was one of many structures affected by the flooding, which destroyed buildings, separated houses from their foundations and left floods of 10 feet high in some buildings. 23 people across the state died in the flooding. The high school was torn down in 2019. Since then, students have attended school in portable classroom facilities.
Paisley has been a key player in rebuilding efforts ever since the tragedy, sending a $100,000 donation from his Paisley Foundation and created a GoFundMe that raised over $1 million.
Local news channel WSAZ reports that Paisley played a selection of hits for the students at the newly-opened high school after watching the Herbert Hoover Huskies scrimmage against his own alma mater, John Marshall High School in Glen Dale, West Va.
Paisley's new album, Son of the Mountains, is due out later in 2023.
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