More than 1,300 students and faculty attended Tuesday the foundation-laying ceremony of new Beichuan Middle School as the old one collapsed in last year's earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
The reconstruction starting at 2:28 p.m., the exact moment the 8.0-magnitude quake struck Wenchuan county of Sichuan, is expected to finish before Sept. 1 next year to enroll 5,200 students.
The new school, covering 15 hectares in Beichuan's new county seat, is estimated to cost nearly 200 million yuan (29 million U.S. dollars) to complete.
More than 1,300 of the school's 2,900 students and teachers were killed or left missing in the rubble of the collapsed schools buildings. Surviving students have attended classes in temporary pre-fab structures in the suburb of Mianyang City since shortly after the disaster.
The Beichuan Middle School was the first project to be built in the new seat of Beichuan County . The new seat is between Yong'an Township and Anchang Township, about 23 km from the former county seat, one of the worst-hit areas in the quake.