Mother remembers her daughter while cleaning Taylor Road Academy

Sandra Gibbs helps take down wall decorations in the old Taylor Road Academy building
Sandra Gibbs helps take down wall decorations in the old Taylor Road Academy building

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Sandra Gibbs never thought she'd lose her daughter, then her daughter's school all in the same summer.

"I feel like she's still here," says Sandra.

Sandra and others are cleaning out what's left of the old Taylor Road Academy.  The school filed for bankruptcy in June.  It was an abrupt blow for teachers, students, and parents--especially for Sandra Gibbs and her family after her daughter Regina was killed in a car accident just weeks before the school closed its doors.

Sandra says Regina loved her school.

"You can see her walk the halls here.   And I know, when you'd come pick her up, you'd look down the hallway and see her at the locker."

That's why Sandra says she loves it too.   And it's the reason she's helping clean out what's left of a place so near to her heart.

"She would want us here helping clean up the school."

Sandra and the other volunteers are forced to work with no air conditioning, or electricity while throwing memories into moving boxes.

"It kinda makes your heart sink," says Kindergarten teacher, Mary Gurley.

But luckily, leaders know Taylor Road isn't the end of that road.

"By August the 17th, we will have a school," says Math and Science teacher, Joe Hanlon.

It's a new school they're calling Three Rivers Academy--a combined effort with leaders of Calvary Christian Academy who also closed their doors because of financial trouble.

And teachers say Three Rivers is already flowing.

"Everyday since we opened the office just a couple weeks ago we've been registering student after student after student," says Hanlon.

It's something Sandra knows Regina would have wanted as her daughter's school closes paving the way for another to open.

"When we look in the hallways in the new school, she'll be there too."

School leaders say a memorial for Regina Gibbs will be constructed at the new Three Rivers Academy site.   School leaders are negotiating a lease agreement to use Calvary Baptist Church's building for classes.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.