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A building that's missing it windows and roof
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Fox Elementary community gathers one year after fire

One year after the fire that devastated William F. Fox Elementary School, children's laughter echoed through the newly reopened playground Friday evening.

The one-year anniversary gathering was also used to update the community on the progress of the building's reconstruction.

Text and photos by Scott Elmquist

The fire burned through the roof of Fox Elementary, which is expected to be replaced in the coming weeks (Scott Elmquist / VPM News)
Katie Ricard, former Fox PTA president and now PTA Secretary, stands with Richmond City Councilmember Katherine Jordan and School Board Member Mariah White. Ricard says, "It's not just a school for elementary students. It's a community center and it's the heart of the Fan. And our residents, whether they have kids or not, feel so deeply tied to this space." (Scott Elmquist / VPM News)
Richmond City Councilmember Katherine Jordan, School Board Members Mariah White, Del. Dawn Adams and Del. Betsy Carr all attended the anniversary event. (Scott Elmquist / VPM News)
A handmade sign stating "REBUILD FOX! On Preservation Virginia List of Va's Most Endangered Historic Places" was the centerpiece of the gathering as parents, children, Fox PTA board members, city council members and members of the Virginia House of Delegates posed with it in the foreground of the school while sharing news of the reconstruction, budget shortfalls and a call to action for advocacy.  (Scott Elmquist / VPM News)
Preservation Virginia named Fox one of the state's most endangered historic sites. (Scott Elmquist / VPM News)
People gather around a large tree behind Fox Elementary. (Scott Elmquist / VPM News)
Fox Elementary's newly reopened playground sits behind the school, which is missing its roof and windows. (Scott Elmquist / VPM News)
Row houses line the street outside the Fox Elementary School playground in Richmond's Fan District. (Scott Elmquist / VPM News)